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Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 12:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

I really get a good chuckle out of reading plot hole being used as shorthand for "I didn't like it" or "I would've written it differently". Guinan not describing the Borg in detail isn't a plot hole. It's not even clear what she knows except that the Borg are conquerors (and we don't even know that at this point in the series). Telling him to leave now or face terrible consequences is about all that needs to be said.
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Andy's Friend
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 12:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

You're quite right, Jason, but let's not split hairs: you remember the episode as well as I do, and what matters is not the above, but *how* Picard delivers this line:

PICARD: Absolutely. That's why we are out here.

That is what causes Q's response: Picard's nonchalant 'absolute' certainty. For it is (to be blunt) sheer nonsense: Starfleet could of course never be 'ready to encounter' all things, and Picard should have known this. So in the end, while I appreciate the difference between being 'prepared' and being 'ready' that you mention, it is largely academic, and beside the point. Other than that, you are obviously right.
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Jason R.
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 11:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

"Take for example Picard's initial assertion that Starfleet is prepared for whatever is out there. This is admittedly out of character for Picard and outright silly."

You are misquoting Picard.

What he says is:

"How can we be prepared for that which we do not know? But I do know we are ready to encounter it."

Picard never claimed to be *prepared*; he claimed they were *ready*.

In this context, giving Picard the full benefit of the doubt, I'd say that readiness suggests that whatever the dangers, mankind belongs out there, that the project of exploration is worthy and wise. It is a rebuke of Q's original assertion from EAF that mankind had gone too far and should retreat.

It is not an assertion of infallibility or a denial of certain risk, but simply the claim that exploration, whatever its risk, is worthwhile.

The encounter with the Borg in Q Who us the first time that assertion of readiness ever came into real question, possibly in the entire Trek canon. The Borg can't be reasoned with and they can't be tricked or defeated through conventional means. They cannot be overcome by the usual magical plot contrivances of a 45 minute episode. They are utterly implacable .

As I see it, until Q Who mankind was the Mary Sue of the galaxy even when encountering seemingly superior beings (like Q). Q Who was the first splash of cold water on that notion.

Until, sigh, Voyager.......
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Andy's Friend
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 11:33am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

@George Monet

You have to look at it from the perspective of classic storytelling, and forget about such silly modern notions as 'plot holes'.

Take for example Picard's initial assertion that Starfleet is prepared for whatever is out there. This is admittedly out of character for Picard and outright silly. But it is nothing but an instance of Classical hamartia, the hero's 'tragic flaw', moving the plot forward and leading to catharsis as he is humbled by Q and learns his lesson: "I need you!"

We know Picard to be better than this. And therein lies the greatness of this episode. Facing Q and letting his animosity toward that entity get the better of him, Picard, our hero, errs. And it costs him eighteen of his crew to learn that. In other words, his over-confident initial stance is not a 'plot hole', it is a time-honoured plot device.

Star Trek is rife with such classic storytelling devices, which we must know to recognise in order to fully appreciate many of the stories told. Star Trek, more often than not, is not about 'realism': it is about archetypes, classic tropes, and ancient lessons. This was understood thirty years ago when this episode aired. The problem is that viewers these days have an exaggerated appetite for realism, all while they seem to have forgotten all about classic dramaturgy and apparently only know how to shout 'plot hole!'
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Jason R.
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 8:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

George my hypothesis is that in an initial encounter the Borg do not bother making a full defence. Their priority is to assess the potential of the other ship, not to destroy it. In effect, they just stand there and let the other ship do its worst. If that results in the destruction of a cube, that's an acceptable outcome for them - lesson learned. For them a single ship is expendable.

As for beaming over bombs to the borg ship - has a Federation captain ever done such a thing in a first contact scenario? Not exactly the Trek ethos...

Regarding Guinan, her failure to provide a more urgent warning is strange. The best explanation I can come up with is much like my original point - once they were there, they needed to learn their lesson. That wouldn't happen if they were convinced to hightail it and run at the outset.
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George Monet
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 2:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

I want to like this episode because it is a lot of fun but the constant plot holes keeping throwing me out. Such as Guinan telling Picard he should leave the space without warning Picard about the Borg specifically. Or Picard's blase response to the threat the Borg pose to the ship. They had a perfect chance to blowup the Borg cube and pick over the pieces and instead they shoot the ship a couple of times (despite having already seen that the Borg had the ability to perfectly adapt to the Federation's phasers) and then decide to hang around and let the Borg repair the ship. This also makes one wonder just how weak the Borg cube is without its shielding as three phaser hits destroy 20% of the Borg cube whereas the Enterprise has been hit by more and only taken minor structural damage.

Nothing anyone does in this episode actually makes any sense. Picard sees that the Borg are apparently technologically superior but also apparently inferior in materials and tactics. Deanna says there is a communal mind but never mentions how that is a weakness they could take advantage of by creating dissent within the collective mind or making use of group think that would prevent the Borg from considering alternatives. The lack of shielding on the Borg cube before they had scanned the Enterprise or learned of its defensive capabilities was a grave tactical error which calls the threat of the Borg into question. Suppose Q had sent over Klingons or Romulans instead. They would have immediately destroyed the Cube while its shields were down and then taken home the technology to study as a prize. Or what if Picard had ordered the away team to place a bomb inside the cube as a backup plan in case the Borg cube wasn't actually disabled. Instead the Borg leave themselves completely vulnerable and only survive destruction because Picard makes just as many grievous tactical errors as the Borg.
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Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 1:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

They still lost their homes. The colonists maybe 50, maybe 50000 are civilians not a military target. Even today that would be considered a war crime.
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Rogu Smith
Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 12:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

This would be a great episode if not for one inconvenient fact:

Admiral Pressman did nothing wrong.
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Andy G
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

I just rewatched this episode and even after 25 years it holds up remarkably well. How it came together sandwiched between a mediocre season and movie, we'll never know. A classic.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: E2

One of my least favorite episodes so far. The pace finally picked up and then squash. A predictable slog that does what a lot of episodes have already done not as well.

What if Malcom found out not that he never met someone but that he paired up with a man? There's an episode I'd like to see.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

I'm inclined to think that nobody was killed because even Eddington does not accuse Sisko of causing any deaths.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

Starfleet has been shown to overlook certain actions if the ends justify the means. Saying Sisko used a "wmd" is perhaps a bit hyperbolic . He simply made a planet uninhabitable for Humans and gave them plenty of warning. A colony can't have that many people right? A couple of decent sized transports could easily get everyone safely off the planet. Yes, they did wait til the last minute to scramble their ships but it still seems like no one was hurt or killed by Siskos or Eddingtons actions.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 5:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

So I'm late to the party here, and I've just started watching Discovery, but damn it's hard to enjoy this show. Tedious, baroque Klingons and absurd space fungi aside, where's the humor in this show? The light touch? The optimism? Are there any likeable, interesting characters?
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Top Hat
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

Or to pun terribly, they didn’t want to play the Q card too often.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

Not a bad episode in some ways, but inherently limited by the fact that it's a "reset" episode, where all the events and character interactions are wiped away at the end of the episode.

A throwaway episode that's not really worth rewatching.
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 1:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

There's a few issues with this episode, not least that Star Trek had done this setup a few times before, not least when Data had to deal with recaltriant colonists in The Ensigns of Command.

Another issue is the fact that the premise doesn't make any sense. As other people have said, the idea of destroying a colonisable moon to generate a tiny amount of energy is ludicrous, especially when the Federation must have so many other ways of generating energy.

But perhaps the worst problem is that the colonists in this episode are cliched stereotypes. They're little more than retired American Gothic pioneers, telling tall tales and being entertaingly grumpy in a homespun and rustic way.

Cliche upon cliche piles on with Kira electing to perform a short-lived rebellion, and the episode doesn't spring any surprises or do anything interesting with the base premise, nor does it attempt to explore the ethics of balancing the needs of the many against the few.

Not one that's really worth watching more than once!
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Someone to Watch Over Me

Romantic comedy is so hard to do right, so everyone involved in this episode deserves extra plaudits for pulling it off so well. Most Trek stabs at romance fall flat, but DS9's "His Way" and this exploration of unrequited love by way of Pygmalion are quite special to this day.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 1:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

Nah, the episode is fun. I do wish the crux of the story about Voyager being trapped and ultra-serious photonic aliens going to war wasn't so stilted and full of technobabble, but the rest of the proceedings are a blast. It's a joy to see the cast loosen up and get to play up the camp, and the love put into the production design is infectious. Give me Captain Proton cheese over season 3's Club Med or the offensive and cloying Fair Haven any day of the week.
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Jason R.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"Care to explain that last remark, Jason?

Because I don't recall Booming ever telling us his/her gender."

Someone corrected me last time when I referred to her as a he.

"I'm also wondering what - exactly - you are so happy about here. First time for *what*, exactly?"

I am usually the one getting corrected for assuming things re pronouns. It was my first chance to correct someone else for a change :)

(I'm curious now, what did you think I meant??)
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Top Hat
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I guess Kirk got so tired of hearing that humans were so inferior to be of interest that everyone stopped asking after a while.

I suspect that the writers didn't want us to get Q fatigue (as opposed to just plain old superbeing fatigue). I suppose a viewer so inclined could say that Douwd is literally a Q by any other name. But to the extent that rating the individual capacities of godlike beings makes any sense, the Douwd seems a little less powerful than the Q, since the Husnock were able to outdo Kevin's initial defences.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

@Mark Bogn

""You wouldn't like her when she's angry." Kai Winn was played by Louise Fletcher, who won an Academy Award in 1975 for her role as the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Sadly, I don't think the writers had this in mind when they wrote this line.

They had a perfect opportunity to put her in the back of an ambulance without make-up in 'Far Beyond the Stars' and didn't.
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Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:23am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

Care to explain that last remark, Jason?

Because I don't recall Booming ever telling us his/her gender.

I'm also wondering what - exactly - you are so happy about here. First time for *what*, exactly?

(I have a pretty good guess regarding what this is about. I hope to God that I'm wrong).
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Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 8:51am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

As much fun as it is to see Q chewing the scenery, this was a pretty disappointing episode.

Things don't get off to a good start when Vash mysteriously appears in the gamma quadrant to barely a blink from the DS9 crew. And somehow not only does O'Brien fail to mention the fact that she's linked to Q (something he later recalls) but there's nothing on record about this despite the fact that Cisco has even attended a symposium on Q's past appearances.

But the worst thing - apart from some stinging repartee from Q - is the fact that this doesn't feel like a Q episode. For all that Q plays his usual joker-God role, something which is conspicuous by its absence is the moral aspect which was usually present in the TNG episodes.

Instead, what we get is Q behaving as a malicious and actively abusive stalker. Pretty much every bad trick in the book is played - he reappears after abandoning her as if nothing had happened and insists she rejoin him. He then attacks people who are interested in her and even subjects her to physical attacks while smiling and promising that everything will be fine if she just gives up and goes back to him.

There's no attempt by any character to call Q out for this behaviour - instead it's all conveniently hand-waved away at the end of the episode with a nod and a wave.

This perhaps highlights the issue DS9 had - where Picard could act as a representative for the Federation's high moral ideals, the murkier backdrop for DS9 means that there are fewer opportunities to condemn behaviour or produce definitive moral judgments.

And it's perhaps telling that Q never reappeared on DS9...
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Jason R.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

"But here, Booming hasn't done anything wrong.

So leave the guy alone, will ya?"

Booming's not a guy.

Booyah. First time for everything.
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James G
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 5:47am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I've been watching the whole series through from the very first over this last few months, and reached this one today. Some of them I remember watching thirty years ago, some I hadn't seen before. I had never seen this one. Although they're all enjoyable in their own way, I think this is the first one that doesn't provoke a nagging inner voice complaining about some improbable plot device or oversight. This one just flew past. I was utterly immersed. Brilliant.

A couple of thoughts though - did the writers miss a trick by not having Kevin turn out to be a member of the Q Continuum? he seems to possess similar power, being able to snuff out an entire race on a whim provoked by rage. And he has a similar fascination with, or weakness for, humans. That might have been a nice tie in.

And secondly, a similar complaint that I always have about the 'Q' episodes. Doesn't the Federation have a lot to learn from a being like Kevin, or Q? Q can make vessels travel at many times maximum warp speed. Kevin has similar extraordinary power. But Q is treated like the annoying, embarrassing uncle who turns up at an awkward time. Kevin is just left to live out his (endless) life on a remote shell of a planet.

I don't like to think that these individuals are practitioners of "magic", so shouldn't the Federation be urging them to pass on a few secrets? Or at least ask for some sort of help or alliance; imagine what someone like Kevin or Q could do to a fleet of invading Borg cubes given the right motivation.
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