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Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

I think this episode for me was the point where I realised how well written this show is, particularly with regard to Kai Winn and her status as villain. She goes way beyond that title, and I think is becoming an incredibly well acted portrait of a real psychopath. I've felt angry at villains in the past, but Kai Winn gives me a whole skin crawling sense of hatred that I don't recall feeling about a star trek villain before. When she threatened Bashir for what he said to her, that was the stepping off point. There's not an ounce of holiness in her at all.

The only regret I have here is that Kira did not utterly unload on her in Bareil's final moments, some comments that truly cut to the centre of WHAT Winn is. Not even the Cardassian torturers of past episodes have made me feel quite this strongly about a character before, and that is I think one of the best reviews I could write about DS9. What an amazing show.
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Cory
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

Also, one more thought I had about this episode:

I wonder if it serves to show us, the audience who are used to seeing the Enterprise crew behave "normally", what humans behaving "normally" look like to the stoic Vulcans. As I was watching the episode, I had a moment where I thought: "Wow, how I feel about the crew's behavior right now must be EXACTLY what Vulcans 'feel' when they interact with humans when we're supposedly at our best."

Maybe that's a little too layered for Enterprise's writing, but this episode definitely helped me empathize with why Vulcans regard us as they do.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming & Jason R.,

Since Jason fielded the last one I'll take on the role of clairvoyant on this one and try to field for him:

"To me this sounds like women, because they already leave for a while because of the pregnancy, should continue to stay at home instead of the father."

The reason this isn't an accurate reading of Jason R's comment is because you've addeed some features he didn't include. One of these is your broadening the statement to include "women", as in, *all* women. Jason's phrasing was a hypothetical in the case of a singular woman. The more important change is in your use of the word "should". Jason R appeared to be describing what actually does happen, but you are trying to turn this into what women "should" do, which is not what he said. It might well be what they'd want to do, so if by "should" you meant that it would be advantageous for them, then that would be closer to what it appears he way saying. But out of context "should" looks a lot more like "this should be the mandated system", and so doesn't match what Jason said.

Incidentally, I think attempting clairvoyance (to continue to poke a bit of fun at your term) is a good exercise, since taking up the burden of restating someone else's claims in your words is a good way to see if you've understood them or not.

"I'm not sure how to respond to this order of yours. It is such a general statement that one would have to be an utter fool to deny that there are practical reasons why women do these things. "

The trouble here is that you made a generalized statement that femininity, along with certain practices of women going off work for family, "are" social constructs. My only point, at any rate, was to point to the fact that they are not *entirely* social constructs. To whatever extent there is some social agreement and some necessary advantage in taking a particular strategy it requires being picky about details to avoid making sweeping statements that make it hard to discuss. We're getting a bit bogged down now, but what I want is for people here to be able to discuss concepts like "Uhura retains her femininity" without it being deconstructed into whether that word has any real meaning. I think people pretty much know what I mean when I use the term, and if they don't they can ask.

"I asked Peter and if you are not clairvoyant then I would prefer to hear his answer or can he not answer a simple question?"

Jason has proved himself clairvoyant on this point. I was describing an "is" and you turned it into a "should", which I didn't say. And I especially didn't even bring up the topic of firing anyone. We were talking about what might govern choices a woman would make.

"I'm not familiar with the numbers in the States but considering how dreadful things are there these days it certainly wouldn't surprise me."

Yes, therea are many features of both health care and labor laws in the U.S. that leave much to be desired. There's definitely a case to be made that Europe is ahead on certain fronts. I also agree that there is more room to be had in encouraging stay at home dads, or at least increased paternal involvement. But these goals shouldn't be confused with statements suggesting that there's a natural advantage in having the mother conduct certain duties. And so in this episode I don't think we need to call sexism automatically because it's suggested that the female may leave to have a family. Although I will also submit that it's certainly possble that it is sexism and the writer just wasn't able to imagine the future all that well.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Jason R.
I will respond one last time because this discussion has gone far enough.

You said "Similarly, there is an obvious synergy in the person who is already taking time off work due to physical changes (which in some cases already led to an early leave) continuing with that leave rather than going back so that the other partner can go off on a second leave, especially if breastfeeding is taking place."
To me this sounds like women, because they already leave for a while because of the pregnancy, should continue to stay at home instead of the father. If I, for some reason, misunderstood you then i sincerely apologize.

"Now acknowledge that there are some very practical reasons why women choose to take the lion's share of leave in many families that are not just arbitrary cultural manifestations of sexism."
I'm not sure how to respond to this order of yours. It is such a general statement that one would have to be an utter fool to deny that there are practical reasons why women do these things.

"Peter's point was not that women should be fired for having kids and going on leave - indeed he said nothing of the kind. The point was simply that this would be burdensome for the company, which is just obvious." I asked Peter and if you are not clairvoyant then I would prefer to hear his answer or can he not answer a simple question?

" Yet men just aren't going on leave, no matter how many incentives are thrown at them or how hard governments try to arm twist this into happening." I'm not familiar with the numbers in the States but considering how dreadful things are there these days it certainly wouldn't surprise me. Fathers in several European countries seem to have less fear to spend time with their children, though.

I also want to thank you for always representing my statements correctly and to not make wild assertions about them repeatedly.
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Sleeper Agent
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: False Profits

The 0,5 star is for:

"Expand or die." (Rule 95)

"When the messenger comes to appropriate your profits, kill the messenger." (Rule 257)

Plus the unofficial stuff which, if nothing else, were wholly entertaining.
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Sleeper Agent
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Warlord

Standing in the shadow of Lien's splendor, it's easy to forget the rest. But let us also remember that Mulgrew is on point with her Bad-ass Janeway in this one. The story reminded me of an Elizabethan revenge tragedy.

3 Stars.
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Cory
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

Did anyone else notice the sound that Reed selected as his "tactical alert", for all the crew's talk of how unbearable it was, is very similar to the sound Picard's Enterprise used for its own red alert?

"And if I have to listen to that alarm one more time, I'll have YOU taken out and shot!" -Archer, seizing Reed by the throat.

LOL.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"I'm not debating that breastfeeding exists even though I find your view that fathers should barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month odd."

I said that fathers should "barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month"?

Indeed, that would be an odd thing for someone to say.

"He said that there "is an obvious synergy" when the person who gets pregnant stays at home while the other person (the man) continues to work. Does this not lead to fathers barely participating in the upbringing?"

Nope.

Now I am glad you acknowledge the existence of breastfeeding. Now acknowledge that there are some very practical reasons why women choose to take the lion's share of leave in many families that are not just arbitrary cultural manifestations of sexism.

"So you would argue that an employer should have the right to fire a woman who decides to have more than one child?"

I am going to field this one since Peter was kind enough to call you out for misrepresenting me.

Peter's point was not that women should be fired for having kids and going on leave - indeed he said nothing of the kind. The point was simply that this would be burdensome for the company, which is just obvious.

Is it "unsustainable"? Depends on the resources of the company. Bigger businesses with a lot of employees can certainly afford to accept this burden more than smaller ones.

I don't think feminists even would really argue that it's a burden to have an employee going on leave constantly for year-long stints. It's self evidently so.

It's why there is such a huge push to normalize paternity leave - to take the pressure off women. Yet men just aren't going on leave, no matter how many incentives are thrown at them or how hard governments try to arm twist this into happening.

Families are continuing to make rational choices on this subject, in keeping not just with "social" expectations but biological facts, like breastfeeding and child birth.

But I will say that I do think there is a big social component to the choices families make. As of right now, it is still not socially acceptable for men to be "house husbands" in most milieu and that plays a part to be sure.

But to discount biological facts like breastfeeding is delusional.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Peter G.
" You think a company, even in Europe, is going to be able to sustain an employee who is gone for a year, comes back for 6-12 months, and leaves for another year? This is just not common sense."

So you would argue that an employer should have the right to fire a woman who decides to have more than one child?

In Germany, France and Scandinavian countries parents have a right to a place at a daycare centers so that they can continue to work. I guess in America that is something only the well-off can enjoy.

As Jason R. mentioned there are breast pumps.

"Jason R. never said this. It (sic) would advise a bit of caution, because a few times in this conversation you've attributed statements to people that they didn't make."
He said that there "is an obvious synergy" when the person who gets pregnant stays at home while the other person (the man) continues to work. Does this not lead to fathers barely participating in the upbringing?

What were the other times I wrongly attributed statements?
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming,

"Maybe this happens again and again because of my limited English skills but the social construct I mean is society expecting women to quit their jobs for ever not taking parental leave for a while which is a guaranteed normality in Europe. In many European countries men take parental leave, too. "

You tend to make generalizations about what the 'social construct is' but as Jason R. mentioned, you are sometimes takling about things that are arbitrary and sometimes things that are physical realities. If a woman is breastfeeding it won't be convenient for the man to stay at home for the first year (or even more). You may say that she can then go back to work, which is fine, but what if the couple wants a second or third child? You think a company, even in Europe, is going to be able to sustain an employee who is gone for a year, comes back for 6-12 months, and leaves for another year? This is just not common sense. There are many different scenarios that a family can have, and some of them can involve both parents working after having kids, and some may involve one or both taking leave or even living at home. But it is not a social construct that there are physical realities making it more convenient for it to be the woman who does so.

"I'm not debating that breastfeeding exists even though I find your view that fathers should barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month odd. "

Jason R. never said this. It would advise a bit of caution, because a few times in this conversation you've attributed statements to people that they didn't make.
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Chrome
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

It's very difficult to consider, but while watching this I try to imagine a time when children were huddled into bomb shelters for drills on a routine basis. The thought that much of Earth could become dangerously radioactive and unsuitable for life was a real proposition. When a Western country deployed a missile defense system, a Soviet country opened up a new base out of that system's range. That's the world this episode was aired in.

It may seem like the metaphor is heavy-handed, and admittedly the dialogue is more on the nose than say "The Hunter for the Red October":

Romulan Commander: I regret that we meet in this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.

But I think this might be the visceral punch we need to see that at any time we as a people, we as a nation, are capable of barbarism like the Romulans. What's clever here is that the "enemy is us" story plays on two levels, with Kirk obviously juxtaposed to the Romulan commander but also Spock being juxtaposed against Stiles.

Spock is identified early as the possible traitor. His species is similar to Romulan, he understands their language, and he's obviously visually very different. But the story flips the tables on us. While Stiles constantly barrages Spock with hatred and suspicion, Spock acts humanely by shrugging off the chance to reciprocate and ultimately saving Stiles' life (for logical reasons). Thus, this isn't just a story about two military powers, but also about bigotry at home. The heat of tension between races can lead to us to stupid decisions that hurt ourselves.

I also really like how Bones was played in this one. He doesn't want any part of this conflict and reminds Kirk that he should temper his actions despite his orders because he could lose himself in the wrong decision. In the end, it seems like Kirk made the right decision militarily, but it cost him something at home.

KIRK: Since the days of the first wooden vessels, all shipmasters have had one happy privilege. That of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony.

This happy privilege lost turns into a price Kirk pays for playing into war. Kirk manages this after finding out the groom he was to unite with his bride died due to his actions:

KIRK: It never makes any sense. We both have to know that there was a reason.

Indeed? Well maybe Kirk did the best he could with a difficult situation and I think Angela understands *that*. I kind of wish she'd followed up with more of a "Was there really a reason, sir?" which could have humbled Kirk in future Romulan encounters. Still, it was great that Bones was there to make that argument throughout the show.

Another thing that jumped out at me the while watching this is that TNG (affected by the writers' strike) accepted a fan script for "The Neural Zone" which was basically a bad copy of this episode but with funny 20th century people. So maybe it was "Balance of Terror" meets "The Way to Eden"? The missing outposts were similar as was the "We're back!" proclamation by the Romulans. The interesting twist in TNG was that the outposts were *not* destroyed by Romulans.
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: I, Mudd

Well, this one definitely worked better when I was 6.
Harcourt really doesn't do all that much to earn his reputation as Star Trek's Hilarious Clown that the series wants him to be. And I don't necessarily blame the actor for that. Norman, on the other hand, was pretty well acted, a solid robo-antagonist given the material.

The two sisters who play the Alices are actually credited as 'Alice #1 through 250' and 'Alice #251 through 500', respectively. That was the biggest chuckle I got out of the episode this time around.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@Jason R.
Maybe this happens again and again because of my limited English skills but the social construct I mean is society expecting women to quit their jobs for ever not taking parental leave for a while which is a guaranteed normality in Europe. In many European countries men take parental leave, too.

I'm not debating that breastfeeding exists even though I find your view that fathers should barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month odd. And it made me think of this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aocZo3oeNxw

"You're very good at making connections between social constructs (femininity) and physical realities (reduced typing efficiency) in one context, but not in others."
This is a false equivalency. Men can have long nails but they cannot breastfeed. In other words long nails are not a "physical reality" exclusively tied to women. But they are part of a social construct called femininity. Like high heels, nail polish and corsets oh and let's not forget the eating disorders. :)
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

*un*professionalism, obviously. Sorry.
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 8:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Ok I liked the adventure elements. I did not care for the sex talk, which is made uncomfortable and unnecessarily stretched out at the same time.

What really bothers me is the blatant professionalism of just about everyone. Why are they constantly insisting this is "paradise", just because a planet *has plant life*? In The Enemy Within, they have a tent set up and collect samples and make it look like they're doing actual field work.

The final straw is an exchange between Kirk and Scotty near the beginning, where Kirk is like "Dude, redshirt just died" and Scotty goes "Oh no, what a shame" and then moments later he goes on about how much he would love to stroll around down there himself. Then Kirk says something along the lines of "Ok gotta be real careful from here on out", then immediately proceeds to pick a flower and mindlessly smell it. It's like the actors and director didn't even care anymore at this point. :D
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 7:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Peter,

well I guess we can give the script credit for at least *giving* her a profession, as opposed to just being a tricorder stand or Apollo demanding a female specimen (which is how many other episodes handle it). I think at one time she's even asked a question relevant to her job, although many more lines about the historical/mythological background could just have been given to her instead of Kirk/Spock.

As for the dialog on the bridge, yes it's cringy and undoubtedly sexist, even for the time. Though I will say Kirk's line about losing an officer is very nicely delivered, as if he's coming to his senses while he hears himself talk.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"Having the babies and caring for them after birth are two different things men often confuse. "

I don't think anyone is "confused" about the difference between these two activities. It is just apparent that they're linked in a pretty non-trivial way. If you're a parent and your partner chose to breastfeed then it's asinine to suggest that the mother doing childcare is some arbitrary social construct.

Similarly, there is an obvious synergy in the person who is already taking time off work due to physical changes (which in some cases already led to an early leave) continuing with that leave rather than going back so that the other partner can go off on a second leave, especially if breastfeeding is taking place.

Note I am not discounting the fact that technology or other resources (breast pumps, formula, wet nurses, daycare...) can fill this gap. But that it is there and it is NOT purely socially constructed is pretty well obvious.

"One could very well make the argument that femininity is a social construct that is not beneficial to women's careers."

You're very good at making connections between social constructs (femininity) and physical realities (reduced typing efficiency) in one context, but not in others.
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Paul
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

On and not one.
Too and not to.

Never seen an error before in your writings Jammer and here we have 2! A rarity!

I like Rom’s character in this, he’s pulling himself up from the bootstraps despite being shot down by Quark and others at every opportunity. He received no encouragement or welcome from the staffers on the day shift (familiar feeling for me) despite his excitement at being there.

Some funny moments ‘I don’t waste time talking to people like everyone else seems to’ and self awareness ‘Not that anyone wants to talk to me.’

I was rooting for him. And got his deserved promotion.
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Dr. Robotnik
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

This episode could have been done much better without the rape analogy. I understand what they were trying to do, but as it stands, it raises some really unfortunate implications about victim blaming.
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Booming
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 1:25am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@Peter G.

I'll try to keep this short.

"but TOS was decidedly *not* portraying a society where women were expected to just stay at home" Isn't that what they are talking about on the bridge? Women leaving jobs to do care work.

"there's not much to say about it being a social construct that women are the ones who have the babies." Having the babies and caring for them after birth are two different things men often confuse. In other words. The social construct is that men aren't expected to give up their hard earned careers to care for the children. It wasn't until 1978 that the USA forbid pregnancy based discrimination. (The Pregnancy Discrimination Act )

"I have seen considerable arguments claiming to have debunked this" from sociologists?? It is one explanation for an important contributing factor. That women with comparable skills and experience are promoted less. I wrote a paper about it a few years back. About Western Europe, though. The USA show some significant differences.

"But I've never heard a cogent argument to the effect that the gender pay gap is sexist strictly on the basis of employers fearing to lose the women to family and therefore holding them back." The gender pay gap consists of several factors. I never said that "fear to lose women after pregnancy" is the only reason. There are more important factors for example what jobs men and women choose.

"Here they're shown to be able to retain their femininity" What would that entail? Her long nails? Doesn't these make it harder to push the buttons and the uniform is, I suppose, mandatory. And the uniform is very sexist. A year ago I watched the first maybe 10 episodes of TOS again. I saw Uhura's underwear several times.
Feminine in western societies often means women being soft, physically weak and pleasing to the male eye. One could very well make the argument that femininity is a social construct that is not beneficial to women's careers.
To go back to Sparta. Helena, the most beautiful woman, was, as it was the norm for Spartan women, very muscular. Spartan women also had more rights then US women in 1850 (or women in the Ancient Athens).

But don't get me wrong. TOS was certainly pushing boundaries. A black female bridge officer. For many Americans that probably looked like utter madness.
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spinalatte
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

This was more fantasy and less about Sci Fi. Some interesting things here, and I enjoyed it more when I decided to not take it seriously.
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spinalatte
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

I did not think this was too bad. Tuvok was heavy handed in the beginning, with a little tone deafness, but he was believable in the acting. The Maquis were a little too negative and teenage-like, but you have to think there was some tension early on in the merging of the crews.
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Edward
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Six of One

such a great episode...first time watching it
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Original Greg
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun

I thought this was a fair though not great episode if for no other reason that the fact, noted by other commenters, that this episode had a Twilight Zone feel to it. It pretty much was Roddenberry meets Serling. I think it rates about 2.5 stars.
I haven't read all the comments on this page but I'm a bit surprised that no one seems to have mentioned that DeForest Kelly had been in two separate remakes of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral prior to this one.
I have to kind of suspect that they had a partial Western stage set up and the writers were asked to somehow incorporate it into an episode. The fact that Kelly had been in two previous incarnations of the O.K. Corral had to be the genesis for this episode.
It's main weakness does seem to be that there just wasn't enough dialogue to fill 50 minutes so there seemed to be a bit of fluff here and there. And the Western characters all had a cardboard cutout quality to them but that may have been the intention to add to the surreal effect.
As for the commenter that objected to Spock knowing about a 400 year old piece of Earth history....come on, it's Spock. It fits his character perfectly. He's half Vulcan, a species that is mentally superior to humans. And he is half human, so he would have a special interest in humanity. And the guy was a genius by any standards, so yeah he has Earth history down pat. And if all that isn't enough he under goes ponn farr just once every seven years. Just think how much smarter the average guy would be if he didn't spent so much time and energy on sex.
And in the final, errie shootout scene did any one notice that the off camera wind machine had to be turned up to high and was blowing 90 degrees to the path of the supposed bullets? This was because the shots were being fired point blank at the actors and they needed a high wind speed to deflect any blast debris away from them.
And I have to say the best comment on this page was given by the guy that said, "There is no spoon." Perfect!
Finally, for what it's worth I have noticed that there is another commenter on this site named Greg so I have changed my nick to Original Greg.
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borusa
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

So, Riker,Troi , Data and Crusher are plotting to deceive their captors in quiet voices but not whispering in the same room as their captors when no one else is making any noise.
That was a director failure.

As for the villain's plan -if they were just after making a dishonest buck there must be less hazardous ways to do it.
We could have done without Data's small talk experiment and yep I absolutely agree with the major point that Patrick Stewart is no Bruce Willis.
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