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Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

Yeah, the romantic interludes here just kinda suck across the board, don't they?

I don't think I personally like even one of these pairings. It's good that we're dealing with the extreme Odo/Kira fallout from 'Children of Time', but I won't hesitate in saying that pining Odo is easily my least favourite Odo. Rom/Leeta is just *too* odd for an odd couple dynamic -- it strains belief. Dax/Worf, I do have some ability to like (mostly when framed as "glorious Klingon battle couple"), but they seem to be jumping to marriage way too quickly -- I see no indication of much reason for it other than satisfying Worf's Klingon obligations. And Garak/Ziyal... sigh. It *could* be a sweet dynamic on a platonic level -- hell, it *was*! And yet they insisted on shoehorning in Ziyal having a crush on someone old enough to be her father. The kiss she gives him here is decidedly Uncomfortable -- at least Garak looks to be just as uncomfortable as I feel, or this'd be even worse than it is. It seems decidedly creepy on the part of the writers -- and it looks like Garak's discomfort here is solely an acting decision, since the script gives no indication of it.

(Verdict: "needs more Kasidy".)

Bleh. At least we've got plenty of good non-romantic character dynamics on display here. One particularly understated one is Jake helping Bashir distribute medical supplies in the Infirmary, in the same vein as '... Nor the Battle'. Jake's clearly on track to becoming a writer, but it almost feels like they're equally setting him up to be a wartime nurse.

The offputting romances really are the only thing that lower this, though, because it's stellar work otherwise. The buildup is incredible and unprecedented. Seeing Deep Space 9 become Terok Nor once more is heartwrenching to watch, epitomised by the Jem'Hadar forcing open those iconic cog airlock doors. And it's a hell of a move, too -- this space station is the goddamn title of the show, it's absolutely fundamental to it, and to wrest it out of our protagonists' grasp... things really won't be the same ever again.

We're left with some very interesting character combinations for the upcoming season. Garak with the Starfleet crew deserves a mention -- let's see if the sometimes-shaky trust he's built with them bears out. Regardless, as he tells Ziyal, he'll always find a way to thrive. I'll be *very* interested to see if this accompanies him in a far more prominent role -- maybe he's best if used sparingly, but eh, I'm very ready to see him brought on for longer stretches regardless.

I was half-expecting Leeta to hide on the station and stick around for Rom's sake -- do something interesting with her that way. But nope, bundled off to Bajor, just as Ziyal is.

I suspect that Terok Nor itself will be the most interesting setting for the upcoming season of DS9 (or 'TN'). There's so much at play there. The thought of Kira under Dukat's command is already making me squirm, and the Odo-Weyoun dynamic promises to be an interesting one -- a potential way for the protagonists to get the upper hand.

Then there's Jake. Jake, you idiot, you've put yourself in prime position to be used as a hostage. "The Dominion wouldn't dare hurt the Emissary's son"? Yeah, good luck with that, especially with Kai Winn holding sway over what counts as religion on Bajor. We've seen the title of Emissary switch places effortlessly before, and if that ever happens again, suddenly Jake Sisko's nothing more than a human in enemy territory. On a story level, I don't *think* they'd kill him off... but dammit, Jake, plot armour isn't a valid excuse in-universe.

(Looks like the Jake-Nog dynamic reversal is finally complete. Jake's the one hanging around the Ferengi family at the bar, and Nog's the one with Captain Sisko keeping him safe.)

And, uh. Rom as Terok Nor's resident Replacement Garak. That's gonna be. Interesting. Y'know, I half-expected him to be making up the "Federation spy" thing, but it honestly seems like it's *true*... in which case, I really have no idea WHAT to expect. He's a less *obvious* candidate for a spy than Garak, I will at least give him that...?

Well then! Onto Season 6! This finale has done far more than enough to whet my appetite for more -- I can't wait to see what it has in store.
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Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 8:02am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

This one clinches the four-star rating with zero hesitation from me. I even watched the finale after this, and yet out of both of those excellent episodes, the one that sticks in my mind is not the status quo-shattering events of 'Call to Arms', but the beautifully nonsensical wild goose chase for a single baseball card.

There's just so much to love here! It harkens back to the self sealing stem bolts-style Jake and Nog shenanigans that I loved so much in the early seasons (hell, sometimes more than the A-plots). They've finally earned their promotion to A-plot here, and while I thought it was a curious choice (Bajor-Dominion politics is the B-plot? are you sure you guys didn't mix those up), it absolutely pays off. Considering the context -- as the teaser shows all too well, we're in some of the most depressing times DS9's ever given us -- this is the exact blast of entertainment our cells need.

I really love a good bit of *happy* comedy like this. The ending here is like the ending to 'Body Parts' -- despite the bleakness of the times, everyone's supporting each other, and everyone manages to find their little oasis of happiness in spite of everything...

... and not a single bar of Nog's latinum is spent!

And yet my *favourite* scene in this is one very specific moment during the final monologue: Weyoun getting himself snuggled up and comfy in the regeneration pod. Ready for a good, refreshing blast of entertainment, delivered straight to the cells? You'd better believe it!

(I keep misspelling Weyoun's name, and I know EXACTLY why. I teach English to Korean kids for a living, and a student I've had twice-weekly for about two years has a name that rhymes with "Weyoun" -- though it's romanised in a completely different way. You have no idea how difficult it is to physically stop myself from typing "Weoyoon", hit backspace, and type "Weyoun" instead. If you ever see a stray "Weoyoon" in one of my comments, or perhaps "Weoyoun" or "Weyoon"... now you know the reason.)
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Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 7:48am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

A hugely entertaining and appropriately splashy two-parter. I do wish more was done with Seven and the Queen in the back half though, as there's never really any doubt that she'll side with Janeway in the final confrontation. As Jammer noted, it plays very similarly to the Picard/Data/Queen standoff in First Contact, which ultimately had more going for it, character-wise. Even just moving the "I am Annika Hansen" line to the climax would have given it some more weight, but as is there's just not enough ambiguity surrounding Seven's motivations here to really land that three-way confrontation. Doesn't stop this from being an absolute blast though and I just love the design of the whole 'Borg city'.
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Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 3:59am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

Strange how no one noticed Kes gained 20lbs overnight
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David Strobel
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 1:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

A little 60's sci fi TV trivia: this episode wasn't the only one with space hippies. Lost in Space did it at least twice. First was a bit over a year before "Eden" with "Collision of Planets," then a few months later in "The Promised Planet."
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Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 1:03am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

The two situations are nothing alike, though.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Future Tense

I spent most of this episode being angry at how stupid they're being. They've dealt with any number of weird contagions and mysterious gases in their explorations, so they should know to be careful. They even have that whole decontamination chamber.

But when they find a derelict pod, they just take it into Enterprise and open it up. The hull even blocked them from sscaninginside! They have no idea what's in there. Could be a chlorine armosphere or something. Could be that whatever made it go derelict is still lurking inside, too. But no, they just stand around it with no protective gear and open it up.

Then later with the Trip and Malcolm scenes, they're not even wearing gloves. They're just touching everything (including objects covered in strange fluids) with their bare hands. It was icky to watch.

But I guess the writers had told them that this was not a "mysterious disease" episode so they had nothing to worry about.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 8:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

I had to roll my eyes when Archer was upset that the Vulcans wouldn't cure the disease because of political reasons. Archer did exactly that to an entire species!

But now the shoe is on the other foot. Protagonist-centered morality at its finest.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Vis A Vis

The discussion here about B’lanna being raped is interesting. There was an episode of Law and Order SVU where, basically, a bunch of rich moms were sleeping with some guy that misrepresented himself as some person of influence of a fancy pants school everyone wanted to get into, and they were deciding if that was rape, because the women didn’t say no. I forgot how they ended the episode (sorry). So if you lie about who you are and someone sleeps with you based on this identity, is that rape? People lie all the time. There was also an episode in DS9 where Sisko represented himself as Dark Universe Sisko, and was with Dark Universe Dax, which I also thought was messed up.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Pretty damn incredible, not a doubt about it. It didn't have quite the lasting impact on me that I generally require for a four star rating, but I will *easily* award the three-point-five.

Who needs "happy future where everyone gets married and has babies" when you can have "happy future where everyone got married and had babies... hundreds of years ago... and if you ever want to see your home again, you have to kill them all"!

This is one of those premises where you *know*, for the sake of the series continuing to be a series, that our main characters will get out of it somehow. The eight thousand descendants here and their Standard Star Trek Charmingly Rural Life are doomed from the start (barring the one-in-a-billion duplication that Yedrin tries peddling to them). But the show is sure to make that inevitability as painful as it possibly can. There's a tension building over the course of the episode, as our crew decide one by one that they want to ensure these people even got a chance to live in the first place: I couldn't help wondering "how is this going to go wrong?" With everyone on board with the plan by the time they're on board the Defiant, we're at the most vulnerable point for tragedy: what *could* it be? Is there some Random Ensign of the Day who's decided to sabotage the plan? Is it as simple and undramatic as an unfortunate accident?

Oh no. Ohhhh no.

Oh, Oldo. (Looks like I'm not the only one to come up with that nickname.) At the beginning, he feels like our resident changeling's dream come true: after Odo's spent years dancing around not confessing his feelings, here comes the older and wiser version who cuts out all the hard work by dropping the L-bomb with zero hesitation -- and garnering a positive reception for it, too!

And then he drops a different bomb altogether.

For all the breaches of trust that have come up in Odo and Kira's relationship, EIGHT THOUSAND PEOPLE *easily* outdoes one collaborator or three falsely accused innocents. It's one shocker of a bold move to pull, especially now that the feelings are acknowledged and out in the open -- normally, the stage would be set for something to come of that, but MY GOD! Can their relationship be the same after this? Should it? It's a different Odo, for sure, but by God, this feels like something that'd overshadow their relationship for a *long* time. Kira's continued *existence* has come at the cost of thousands of lives, in active defiance of her wishes, all for the sake of Odo's love. Her face of absolute horror really says it all. Imagine the survivor's guilt...

(... I *said* this ep didn't leave much of a lasting impact on me, but typing it out and processing it, I'm beginning to think it actually did.

Moving on. Is Oldo just Auberjonois with no prosthetics at all? Usually I have trouble recognising the actors of prosthetic-heavy characters as their usual selves, but had no trouble here. To me, it looks like regular smoothface Odo with detail added -- which speaks to the quality of the prosthetic work.

I saw a quote from Auberjonois going round about how Odo's smooth face stems from not having much of a grasp on his own identity. He may well be able to "do faces", just as he can easily make other complex forms (he doesn't become an oddly smooth hawk, after all -- he just becomes a normal goddamn hawk). But *his* face? Something he'd have to invent out of nothing? It's non-distinct to start with, and then that non-distinct "placeholder face" (faceholder?) just becomes his face anyway through comfort and familiarity. In light of that, then, Oldo's non-smooth face seems odd -- naturally, it's a visual convention to make him distinct and mark the passage of time, but nothing about Oldo seems to indicate any stronger grip on his identity as an individual and/or as a humanoid. Hell, if anything he has *less* of a grip on it -- he seems very much isolated from everyone else, and IIRC doesn't even talk to anyone apart from Kira. For all we know, he could've just one day escaped from his sci-fi breadmaker* and run off into the sunset, making no contact with The Society Formerly Known As The Defiant.

* (Memory Alpha says the Odo box here is literally just a breadmaker with sci-fi bits and bobs attached. No disrespect to the props department -- I actually kind of love that.)

The Sons of Mogh are a rather touching standout. I love the fact that membership of their little group is optional and apparently freely obtained rather than limited to Worf's descendants: "some by blood, some by choice". We have part-Klingon "Sons of Mogh" and part-Klingons in the main settlement; there are full humans in both too, including the kid who's desperate to join them. Little details like this inform mental images of the history that led up to this: an elderly Worf tells old Klingon tales to his children, his grandchildren, and anyone else sufficiently intrigued to listen -- creating a new mythology and culture for generations down the line.

It's also an interesting little cultural variation within this society. It's rare that Star Trek shows differences in culture on a single-planet basis, beyond a bare minimum (and if so, it'll be the thing an entire one-off episode revolves around). Here, it's just a background fact of the society, originally stemming from a species difference and yet not limited to it. Lovely little concept.

One final topic before I get to the bullet points -- this *was* going to be a bullet point, but then I started thinking too much (waaaaaay too much). There was one interesting background detail I was looking out for all episode, as soon as it was clear these were Defiant descendants: none of the part-Trill descendants look even *slightly* Klingon, and not one of the part-Klingons has even a single spot. What's the cause of that: genetic incompatibility or romantic incompatibility? If Worf and Dax's marriage didn't last, you'd think Yedrin would've mentioned it... though maybe his nonspecific non-answer to Jadzia's question is telling:

JADZIA: Were we happy together?
YEDRIN: He's a good man, Jadzia.

(while watching, I remember thinking "hah, they couldn't *possibly* have a male host talking about loving a man, gotta give the weakest response possible"... but it could equally hint at this little mystery about the lack of Worf/Dax offspring)

And if it's a genetics thing, you've then got to have them both banging other people for the sake of the gene pool. Which... may have led to the "romantic incompatibility" explanation in itself, because we've well and truly established how Worf feels about Dax doing that, and while genetic necessity gives her a *reason* for that other than bog standard infidelity, it also seems like a prime way to bring these issues between them to a head. No terrorist organisation for Worf to join this time, though! He'll just have to start his own!

Or *maaaaybe* the lack of Trillgons (Klingill? Trigons?) was a production oversight, probably like the lack of mixed-race humans in general. But that explanation is Boring. Why go with an obvious/Doylist answer when there's a golden opportunity to overthink things for several paragraphs instead?

... and now that's out of the way...

- There's something very bittersweet about insisting on planting their crops despite this being their last day alive. Insisting on preparations for the future, even in the full knowledge that they won't have one. Worf's action of reuniting the Sons of Mogh for this final action... god, it's the cherry on the cake.
- I will forever love how *immediate* it is that Sisko goes into Dad Mode in close proximity to babies. Like the flick of a switch.
- They make a big deal out of how O'Brien ended up with someone else despite having Keiko back on DS9, but there's not a single mention of Kasidy for Ben? I guess it's a less long-term relationship, and an unmarried one at that, but still.
- Julian, ever the opportunist, immediately making plans to hook up with his alt-future Babyshir-maker.
- What an anticlimactic ending for Kira/Shakaar! Just shoved under the table and there, done. I hate to say it, but... I really don't mind. He had a strong start and then pretty much went downhill right from the moment they set him up with Kira. But WOW, even less focus on their breakup than we had with Bashir/Leeta. Stone cold.
- I love the weirdness of the "we need to give Armin Shimmerman something to do this ep" cameo. Simulated maths teacher Quark. What a concept.
- And speaking of Quark's absence, I'm now wondering what it'd be like if he *had* come along. Picture it: in the absence of latinum, the Quark dynasty has developed a flourishing economy that uses, I dunno, particularly shiny rocks as currency. Oversized ears everywhere.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

I am someone who generally likes the Klingon episodes, especially ones with Worf and Dax (it's not really the focus in this one, but it's always interesting to see how their respective backgrounds affect how they function in Klingon settings; it seems that Dax often fits in better than Worf does). I definitely felt the similarity to 'A Matter of Honor' here, of holding a borderline mutinous crew together through some incredibly tense situations. It doesn't do *too* much that's new in that respect, but it's still worthwhile to see a different sort of Klingon crew: low morale is a different problem to face. Less a "fish out of water" story, more about leadership in general.

It's interesting how General Martok fits into this. Both he and this crew have spent the recent past being beaten into submission by the Jem'Hadar, and it's made quite an impression on both. And yet it affects them in different ways. Some clearly spoiling for any kind of victory in a fight, even if it's with their crewmates. Some feeling as if they've already lost whatever battle they're going into. And Martok seems to have grown more timid. No doubt he's suffered enough punishment at the Jem'Hadar's hands for one lifetime.

Contrast Worf, who came out of the Dominion prison victorious -- not just in battle, but in spirit. He *does* repay what Martok did to him there, and while he doesn't win this victory himself, he plays the key role. His invitation to the House of Martok is a touching moment, and well-deserved.

(I will note, though -- near the end of the episode I was thinking "wait, they've only just resolved the power struggles, there's no time for the actual battle!" And then there wasn't. This story does enough on its own, and doesn't *have* to be about GLORIOUS KLINGON BATTLE -- we've had our fair share of that elsewhere -- but I still feel a little let down dammit.)
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

@Omicron: *ouch.* What a nightmare that must've been.

Checking the transcript now, and yeah, the little zapper circle is nothing in comparison. To quote Mora: "Odo, six millivolts is not going to hurt it."
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten


"There's definitely a lot to consider in a situation like this. Odo definitely acted as a tempering influence to an extent, and I don't doubt that Mora had much nastier changeling-changer machines."

He did.

In this very episode (I just rewatched it) Odo mentions that Mora used a vacuum chamber and a protein decompiler. Yikes! It's like he had an entire torture chamber or something.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 9:16am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

Hate it when people show up and say things like "This is a light-hearted comedy, not SERIOUS DRAMA!" to excuse terrible writing. Comedy episodes can be just as good as the serious episodes, this one sure as FUCK wasn't.
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

Agreed. Solid stuff, even if the second half isn't quite as strong as the first. Seven and Naomi's relationship continues to be very sweet, especially the way Seven calls her by her full name, although it's kinda funny that Naomi has become much more of a prominent presence than her mother at this point. They don't even get a scene together at the end!
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 4:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water

(Also, Kira smashing her cup on Dukat's face? Beautiful scene. I need more of that in my life.)
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Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 4:41am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water

I wasn't expecting Ghemor to come back, and yet DS9 is exactly the kind of series in which he would. I'm grateful for that -- I loved the unlikely "found family" dynamic they built up over their one appearance together, and I'm glad to see it withstand Dukat's meddling here.

Weyoun is kind of fantastic, isn't he? You really get the impression that he's constantly holding himself back from fits of manic giggling.
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 8:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Outrageous Okona

I'm surprised that Jammer and a lot of others actually like the B plot with Data trying to learn (about) humor.

I first saw this episode as a teenager and, coming from Central Europe, it was pretty much I was exposed to (American-style) stand-up comedy. I thought it was quite the opposite of funny, amusing, pleasant, humorous, you name it. I hated it so much that I'd avoided anything resembling stand-up for the next 15 years, until the horrible feeling this episode gave me finally wore off and I discovered that some stand-up is actually quite nice.

So... the pretty lame plot with Mr. Charming Rogue seemed really nice to me by comparison.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 8:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

Yep, I meant DIstant Voices. I mean, they both involve whispers...
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

I ALWAYS forget this happened post Odo's de-solidification. Course I always think of this episode as "the one where Odo has sex", which DOES make sense pre "The Begotten."

Presumably, because Odo has lived as a solid, the knowledge of how to replicate the "full" human body, inside and out now rests within him. Whether he chooses to replicate his organs all the time or not is a matter of debate, although I guess that would mean we might see him eat once in awhile after this. Though maybe he doesn't like the hours long digestive process. But he can probably replicate all the necessary equipment and brain impulses to enjoy intimate acts if need be.
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

Another episode with shades of "Poor parenting choices"

@Peter G. I think you meant Season 3's "Distant Voices" as "Whispers" was the O'Brien's 'everything is wrong and everyone is in on it' episode.

As for revelation, it does add some wrinkles to Bashir, but I don't think it goes out of it's way to adversely change his character on it's own. Perhaps in conjunction with other events, but that's just characterization marching on I think.

What I do like is how it retroactively works too. First with the aforementioned "Distant Voices" - ehich also gives that episode some additional context that elevates it somewhat, but also with "Our Man Bashir", which Trek reviewer SFDebris analysed from a post Augment revelation point of view. Essentially "OMB" lets us the audience, and Garak, in on Bashir's fantasy. Not of being a spy, but of being able to live a life as the exceptional, superhuman he is. The fate of the world in his hands, the detail-oriented work, seeking out and playing other's weaknesses against them. AND being able to non-fatally shoot a man (Garak) in the neck with pin-point accuracy. And being able to make quick, calculated decisions on the fly. All with Garak mock it, but in reality dancing around the truth of it all and either missing it, or knowing full-damn well what it all meant to Bashir.

Honestly, even if this twist wasn't planned, I don't really have a problem given how well it can be placed upon the previous foundations laid out.
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 7:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

I think in some Trek episodes it's easy to get hung up on story minutia nowadays and muddle the big point the writers were aiming for. Can't see the forest for the trees as it were. The trees in this case being "shock therapy" and "experimentation" which DO carry a lot of connotations on their own, yeah, but here is just the Trek Twist TM on the "Carrot v. Stick" or "Caring or Clinical" parental/childhood development message.

Here we've got an episode essentially arguing for moderate spanking (or even just punishment for bad behaviour) and pushing your kids, but without beating them or negleting the child's needs. It's "parenting is hard, but approach it with balance, caring and understanding, and sometimes you'll have to push your kid a bit harder than you or they'd like, but it's only to encourage their development"

Let's be honest, Odo likely would be a helicopter parent if given the chance, and his kid would never grow and become independent.

As for Mora, even though he didn't know he'd fallen into a parental role at the start, he never really fully stepped into it either, or perhaps, didn't know how. At the start he's still not fully acknowledging Odo's independence and measuring his personhood by his successes and criticising his lack or it in other places.

And given Mora's role, it's easy to see how Odo got where he did and made his choices. Always looking for belonging, but never finding it, closing himself off when around those that might give it to him. And no wonder he rejected the Founders. He felt a sense of home with them, but also saw the familiar detachment and cruelty he'd "grown up" with. And then he's tried to build that belonging, first with the abandoned Jem'Hadar, a bit with Kira, and now with this baby changling. And all failed, although, through the baby changling he was able to build a bridge back to Mora, and find, if not belonging, at least understanding between them.
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 6:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

It always cracks me up to see people treat Trek as this "hard sci fi" show that rests within our laws of physics and understanding. The whole point is to leave those normal constraints behind and use that freedom to explore interesting ideas. That's what this show exemplifies for me. No, it doesn't make sense but it is an INTERESTING story imo. Therefore this show is a success in my book even if it's too "cynical"??? for some.
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

I have reservations with this episode too, and I agree about the murkiness of what was done to Bashir. However, it does turn out to be a pretty good development for the character as we get "Statistical Probabilities" and the Section 31 material from it. Just goes to show retcons aren't always bad.
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Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 5:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

Definitely something that feels strange to have *not* been one of the solid Odo episodes. I can't help wondering, what specifically would changeling Odo get out of sex? Emotional intimacy, closeness, being able to please a partner, taking part in what's seen by many as a pretty damn fundamental part of "The Humanoid Experience"... all pretty solid (ha ha) reasons. Would he get anything out of the act itself, though?

For what it's worth, it does seem like Odo's been hoping a little more intimacy in his life, and not just Kira. That one self-help book he was reading in 'In Purgatory's Shadow'... and not to mention his choice of reading material in 'The Ascent'. Research, huh? That's next of kin to "reading it for the articles".

I will say that this feels like it worked better than a lot of Trek's sex (that rhymes). I mean, compare this to 'Let He Who Is Whatever'... that gives you a super low bar to clear, but still. It *kiiinda* feels like the main purpose of this story (on the level of the series as a whole) was to establish that Odo Can Sex, and it's pretty clearly heading that way from "bedroom eyes" onwards. It does also give a precedent for him actually having some success in romance, which might hopefully do something to increase his confidence in general -- if he can get over the heartbreak, that is.

Arissa here has details filled in well enough that I can muster up empathy, so that's good at least, and things like her data port and her involvement with the Orion Syndicate hint at greater worldbuilding. But it's clear she's not going to persist beyond the end credits, and all through her growing closeness with Odo I was thinking "okay, betrayal's gonna happen any time soon". So yes, this is still very much The Odo Show.

In other news: we have the triumphant return of the James Bond shenanigans! I *love* how much fun Dax has with the holosuites. Sure seems to be having fun with her gossip too, huh.

Also the two Orion Syndicate guys are a fun diversion, and that hasperat they get from the Promenade looks really nice. This line of the comment brought to you by Fenn's rumbling stomach.
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