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James G
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

I like this one. Any episode that's prominently Data-themed is necessarily a good one. The Romulan espionage story is clever, though very understated here.

This one does highlight a flaw in the very idea of Data, though. He's very often shown to be curious about things, not understanding ideas that are simple and everyday to humans, and always having to ask. In this one, his people skills are so lamentably awful that he cheerfully tells O'Brien that his wife-to-be has called off their marriage, assuming he'll be happy about it because it's what she wants.

And yet we're supposed to accept that this synthetic person with limited empathy with and understanding of humans is a senior officer to hundreds of personnel aboard the Enterprise, and occasionally in charge of the whole ship.
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 7:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

Kirk is very gay in this episode especially the way he looks at captain Christopher.
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James G
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 7:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Another thought - it's curious to me that in the 24th Century, things are still counted by the dozen. Geordi refers to "half a dozen photon torpedoes".
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 6:51am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Persistence of Vision

Why can Seska be seen frozen when she left the ship in a previous episode? It's a major continuatity issue.
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Outrageous Okona

Sitting here in quarantine, I am sympathetic to the sentiments of being glad to spend time in TNG world.

Best moment of the episode was the Picard-Riker exchange about the lasers. The way they said “lasers” was great, like us saying some word from 200 years ago that we’d maybe vaguely heard of.

Two Worf thoughts as well. The sexism in this episode is so cringeworthy. Okana has been onboard for what, a few hours, and I believe they report he’s been in the quarters of four different crew members? Worf is the only character who seems to have a problem with this.

Also, I remember seeing a YouTube video that is a collection of clips where Worf offers advice and it’s rejected. When they first encounter Okana and decide to fix his ship, there is this brief exchange:

Worf: “Sir, recommend limited access to our ship.”
Picard: “Agreed.”

So a win for Worf! Then again, seeing as Okana, once onboard, seems to wander around seducing crew members at a fast clip, to the point they are not sure where he is when they want him, maybe this wasn’t really a win for Worf. Dang it!
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 6:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

On the subject of the Jellicoe plotline:

I found this to be generally well handled, and the reactions of the crew realistic. It's true that you would expect a military outfit to have more discipline, but Starfleet is only quasi-military and the crew have an established familial relationship. The tension between their roles as friends and officers is well realised.

I also think it was a bold move to let Jellicoe succeed. This is again one of those occasions when the writers get it right by making an issue more nuanced than fans with more rigid expectations would like it to be. I see people here reacting with disappointment that 'our' characters weren't shown to be in the right, saying that it undermines or confuses the message.

On the other hand, I also see the opposite reaction: that these episodes are poorly written because Jellicoe is a straw man militant who we're "supposed" to dislike (Admittedly, this is just one person, and it's the site's resident right-winger).

I disagree strongly with both of these interpretations. The 'message', as far as there is one, is that different approaches can yield results, but the tensions between those different approaches can be unresolveable. We know that in a typical episode, Riker might have been able to rescue Picard in a daring raid. We know that Jellicoe succeeded here by being willing to sacrifice Picard in order to play for time and come up with a broader plan. But it nearly came to the point where neither plan could be brought off, because convictions were equally strong on both sides.

Although it could have been handled better, Troi's line about Jellicoe's uncertainty greatly strengthens this theme. Jellicoe isn't 'arrogant'; he's acting in a way that he thinks he needs to in order to get results. It's a calculated risk - hack people off, including your own officers, in order to force the outcome you need. As he tells Troi, there's simply no time for bedding in, winning trust. But he knows it's a risk.

It makes me think of all those scenes in TNG when the Enterprise is being fired upon, or facing some other immediate threat, and the crew take time to debate different solutions to the problem - or, in more absurd instances, assemble in the meeting room. As much as I want to give these scenes a free pass (because I do fundamentally agree with the philosophy that cooperation and thoughtfulness is the only route to avoiding annihilating ourselves), in most of these situations as written you would fare better with a well-oiled machine: Picard taking charge, commands carried out without thinking. In the time it takes them to have a conflab, most other ships in the series have been blown apart.
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 6:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

I have a couple of comments to make about this two-parter, mostly in response to the audience-show dynamic evidenced on this site. Episodes like this get 3.5-4 stars from Jammer, and the consensus seems to agree with that. The lighter episodes like 'Rascals' tend to get 2-3 stars, and people really tear into them.

I found I've been enjoying the episodes more or less the same. 'Rascals' is much more cartoony, but establishes that tone from the start, so that I find no need for nitpicking when it gets super-silly. It's kind of like watching a different show - and episodic fiction can have a certain amount of elasticity to it in that respect. DS9's comedy episodes are more wearying because there is a tighter continuity throughout, reducing that degree of elasticity.

On the other hand, episodes like the 'Chain of Command' two-parter are seriously hampered by their sillinesses. Higher highs, maybe, but lower lows. The contrivance of Picard, Crusher and Worf acting as ninja spies is completely unearned, shreds the drama of their situation in Part 1, and undermines the torture scenes in Part 2.

The use of the Ferengi smuggling route is completely slapdash - Picard doesn't even know the Ferengi in question, or the extent to which he can be trusted not to rat them out. Crusher's turn as a seductress is offensively crass, and her lack of injury from dozens of rocks falling onto her head makes that entire scene pointless.

I agree that the torture scenes are well acted, but these too are undermined by various things. First and foremost, it's a weaker rip-off of the same scene in '1984', but loses much from there being no point to the torture. Picard knows nothing worth extracting, and Madred is a weak man acting out a power fantasy - it says nothing about the effectiveness or otherwise of the Cardassian state, or of any particular ideology.

Secondly, it runs up against the fan/writer hero worship of Picard. As a character, he's an ideal, and that's fine in a fantasy series. But if you're going to tackle torture, you ought to be prepared to be truthful - and the truth is that torture breaks people. Compare this with what happens to Jim Prideaux in 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' - an intelligence agent trained to resist torture. He talks matter-of-factly about how he starts off giving them the cover story, is gradually forced to give up everything, and ends up saying absolutely anything he can think of, relevant or otherwise, to get it to stop. He ultimately runs out of things to say.

But we're not allowed to see Picard overpowered in this way - instead, ludicrously, we get him turning the tables on his torturer, and defying him until the end. Equally ludicrously, the Cardassians never carry out any physical mutilations - a time-honoured method of psychologically breaking someone.

Picard is a hero and Star Trek is an optimistic show - we're not meant to see him 'lose' so badly, so hopelessly. But for that reason, this show should not be tackling a subject like torture so brazenly. In doing so, it straight up lies to us. And a lie like this - that 'heroic' people can stand up to torture - is ironically, one of the things that allows people to accept torture in the modern day. The idea that it gives us an advantage over our enemies, because our enemies are weakling villains who will give up the goods more readily, is just pervasive enough to mute what ought to be persistent moral outrage that any nation practises such methods.

(I'm going to go onto another comment for the Jellicoe stuff).
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 5:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

Geordie "no cat is untrainable, my sister trained her cat"

Geordie 5 minutes later "Data, that cat is untrainable"
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David K.
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 3:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Ferengi Love Songs

Wait, wasn’t Ishka supposed to have been sold in to servitude when Quark broke his contract? That was supposed to be one of the consequences. Why was that never addressed, even with a throw away line about how she had to spend half her fortune bribing people or something.
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gene x
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Thanks for these reviews Jammer. I rewatched the entire series during quarantine and would watch a show a night and then read your review. This show was so good and holds up so well still (today in fact, I saw a post of the Adama quuote about military vs police which Edward James Olmos tweeted a few days ago:
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Razor

On rewatch, very enjoyable and solid. I didn't find the redundant nature to be a negative, because to me that was just scaffolding for seeing characters to make choices that are fleshed out here. I watched the extended version, which has longer segments flashing back to the first war-- this created some difficulty in keeping the emphasis on Cain and Pegasus (by the end, it felt like it wasn't really the main story at all-- which is ok, because all the other material
was good) and the time switching could be a little disruptive. Actually, taking the pressure off of this as The Pegasus/Cain Story and giving more material to the interesting present day (and first cylon war bit with Adama) was kind of a good thing-- I didn't feel like I needed more from Pegasus/Cain. Also, removing pressure of being the only content btwn seasons 3 and 4 and rewatching this as just a kind of Bonus... well, it helped too.

Strong 3.
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

@Mr Peepers
"The thing I find funny about Trekers love affairs is this. Every time someone falls in love with a person/alien on some planet, there is usually some societal conflict that splits the couple up. But how can someone on the Enterprise have a relationship with a person on a planet when they will be leaving in a few days, and will be many light years away? It would be at least a year, and a few weeks/months journey to take leave to get back with them. You will burn up all your leave just getting there and back to your ship, with maybe a couple days with your true love. Far easier to meet someone new at your next stop. Riker probably only gets back to Risa once every 2-3 years. Can't be too healthy for a relationship. Beverly would probably never see Odan again, even if he was still a male. "

This would be true if bodies could have relationships. Bodies are just a collection of cells, and cannot relate at all. Sure, they can touch, kiss and have sex. But it is our minds, our personalities, that put any meaning on it. After all, we don't consider the interconnectedness of all the different cells in our own bodies as relationships. Perhaps in the 24th century, with instantaneous communication, they have understood that physical proximity need not have as much meaning as it did in earlier times.
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Asylum seekers are not new on StarTrek. On Voyager, Q sought asylum so he could kill himself. On TNG in the episode Half a Life, a character sought asylum to avoid being killed for their age. In all these instances, asylum was granted because in every instance it was "sentient creature believes they're being treated unfairly by their own society and currently finds themselves standing on a Federation Ship and therefore are subject to Federation Rules, which grant asylum when such is deemed accurate." Full stop. Trip was wrong to go seeking an asylum case. However, fact is, he found one, and it was now standing on Enterprise and therefore human rules applied.

It is absolutely true that the cogenitor didn't know what they were asking for in asylum, Trip had no doubt sugar-coated it. Archer should have talked to the cogenitor for days, however long it takes, trying to convince them to go back. He should have brought the other captain to talk to them too. Decide on concessions to make the cogenitors life more acceptable going forward. In the end, after every avenue is followed, like in every other StarTrek series, Archer SHOULD have approved this asylum request if the cogenitor insisted on making it.

Instead, he had the cogenitor forcibly removed from his ship to return to a life of slavery and oppression, ultimately resulting in suicide. This was 100% on Archer's head. Thankfully, historians no doubt agreed with me, as we see Asylum requests formally in the rules by the time of TNG, tying captain's hands. To paraphrase Picard, "I realize doing so will have a perhaps profound negative impact upon your society, but our laws leave me no choice but to grant them asylum."

Knowing of the cogenitor's plight, he would have been wrong to force his way onto an alien ship to rescue them from slavery. Similarly, he is wrong to force them to leave his own ship. Just as Human rules cannot force the Vissans to stop engaging in slavery on their ship, neither can Vissan laws force Humans to engage in slavery on their ships, even if it is just a form of fugitive slave laws (returning already escaped Vissan slaves).
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Mr Peepers
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

Geordi, Geordi, Geordi. When my computer starts acting up, I reboot it. Wait until these people go to sleep, then Ctrl-Alt-Delete the holodeck. Or do as others suggested and just gas all of the people and put them asleep. Then toss Mr Cry Baby who got out of the holodeck, back in with them. Drop them off on a planet and leave. They will wonder where they are, but they'll get over it. Let them think what they want. There would be no way for them to figure out they are now on a planet 10 light years away. They'll adapt and life goes on. Better than waking up dead on their old planet.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@ Mr Peepers,

You might be thinking of pre-fab programs, which we tended to see more on VOY like 'holo-novels', or on DS9 with the James Bond adventures. On TNG Worf's calisthenics are probably like this too. But there are plenty of programs that "save and end" and you resume it where you left off. Most Trek examples of holodeck use are the latter type, where you have an ongoing story that you can pause when you have to go back on duty or go to sleep or whatever. A technical or laboratory use of the holodeck would be especially useful to continue where you left off, and completely useless if you had to restart it every time. Why have to retread all the ground you already covered every time you turn on the program?

One example that comes to mind that may be a bit of both is Vic's program in DS9, where it does seem to be a long-form holo-novel type situation, but it's so long that you do save and end when you leave and this could go on maybe for years. I don't know what happens when that program 'ends', or if there is a natural end to it.
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Mr Peepers
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

Fights. Whenever Kirk or Picard get in a hand to hand fight, they get their butts kicked by either a retired Admiral, or some woman. Picard can't even hold his own against Kelsey. She beat him down and left him on the ship to pay his regrets. Of course he got the last laugh by removing the control module on the container, and it explodes on her, but still. Kirk usually gets beat up by the old dude who is at least 20 years older than him. The most unrealistic fights ever.
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Mr Peeepers
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

If I hooked up with a female Trill, and she had to get a male body, It's over for me. I got no plan with a man.

The thing I find funny about Trekers love affairs is this. Every time someone falls in love with a person/alien on some planet, there is usually some societal conflict that splits the couple up. But how can someone on the Enterprise have a relationship with a person on a planet when they will be leaving in a few days, and will be many light years away? It would be at least a year, and a few weeks/months journey to take leave to get back with them. You will burn up all your leave just getting there and back to your ship, with maybe a couple days with your true love. Far easier to meet someone new at your next stop. Riker probably only gets back to Risa once every 2-3 years. Can't be too healthy for a relationship. Beverly would probably never see Odan again, even if he was still a male.
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Cody B
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@ Mr Peepers

Wesley “the crusher” Crusher is the first person anyone goes to when they need pointers on the opposite sex. Wesley is a master PUA. It’s why Picard was always screaming at him. Pure jealousy. Wesleys also the mastermind behind all of Riker’s conquests.
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Mr Peepers
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

I saw this episode again recently, and each time I can't figure out how Mrs. Brahms saw the ending of the holodeck file. It would had taken hours to reach the end where she says "that every time Geordi looks at the engines he's looking at her, every time he touches the engines he's touching her". She had only been looking at the replay for a few minutes. Plus, I didn't think a holodeck program worked that way. It's more like a scenario that is programmed. So the next time you run the program, it will be the same setting, but not the same exact story or outcome. It's not like a VCR with a ply by play from the first time it is run. The Captain goes to the same Dixon Hill story, but it is a fresh encounter, not an exact rehash of the first few times he experienced that book chapter.

Geordi needs to get some ladies pointers from Wesley. At least he hooked up and made out with Robin Lefler in, The Game.
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

I hadn’t seen this in like 30 years, but the lead in Bandersnatch reminded me very strongly of Charlie. So I’d say this ep left an impression on me.

The reason is trivial though. A late teenage male with a bouffant who is more than a tad unsocial.
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Mr Peepers
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Arsenal of Freedom

How many jobs has Geordi had on the Enterprise? He starts out as Coffee Boy 1st class where he talks down to the Chief Engineer, to him becoming the Chief Engineer himself and expert of everything Tachyon. Don't you have to go back to the Academy to learn ships systems and the technobabble? He needed that to impress Dr. Braum's.

I was turned off when he took the ship into the atmosphere to make the invisible ship visible, while shields were at maximum to keep the ship from burning up. But as soon as they destroy the invisible ship, he tells the navigator to shut down the shields while they are still in the planets atmosphere. Gotta save those shield batteries.
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

A good episode that gives Seven the kind weighty internal conflict that Ryan always excels at. I can't help but feel that it would have worked better had they held it off until next season, given how little time both we and the crew have spent with Icheb, but solid stuff nonetheless. Effective use of the Borg at the end too. I'd disagree with Jammer on Manu Intiraymi though, who I think is stiff as a board here, former Borg or not. A shame, but not enough to ruin it.
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Home Soil

Oh boy! Where do I begin? Shades of the Horta and a prefiguration of the nanites. At least the nanites and the tech crisis they generated were interesting. To say that this was a soporific would be an understatement.

But more than that, it's technically deficient. Firstly, it's filmed practically without stage light. In one scene Picard's red uniform is so dark that I couldn't tell his rank insignia from the stars outside the window. Is that Orion's belt I see? Oops one too many stars.

Secondly, it definitely has the look and scripting of a really early episode. The characters regularly seem to be stepping on each other's feet. And who was responsible for that early bit (before the opening credits run) where Deanna's cleavage is sent hurtling directly toward Camera 1? She is then followed in that respect by all the male characters and their less impactful cleavages.

I really think that someone switched on the holodeck and programmed it to produce a simulacrum of an episode before Code of Honor or The Last Outpost. The only problem with that theory is that Wesley is wearing his rainbow striped velour pullover rather than the baggy pink sweater knitted by the director's grandmother.
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 7:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour


Umm, so if the internal workings are able to be put in a manner in which the WEAPON** can't be stopped
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Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

At one point, discussion about what order to flip the weapon thingamajigs asks the question, what happens if they get it wrong? The answer is that the weapon then cannot be stopped... Umm, so if the internal workings are able to be put in a manner in which the can't be stopped, than why didn't the Xindi just do that before they launched thing in the first place...
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