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Arachnea
Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

Well, I sincerely believe this episode is underrated. It's all about characterization and it's very "Trekian".

We discover or are reinforced in the ideas of who each main character is. T'Pol is not human and her way of dealing with Hoshi is obviously wrong from a human perspective, but we also witness her adapt and give encouragement instead of "repression". Hoshi lacks confidence and is on a learning journey, which is great. Malcolm is a typical security man, focused on the danger (and likes things being blown up :p). Trip and Archer share a genuine friendship. The captain pouts when something doesn't go his way... Well, you get my point, I could continue on little details, but it's unnecessary.

The plot was well conceived, but the pace was a bit slow. The truly alien life form was interesting and the developement of the force field was great. I was interested in watching more of Mayweather, but the last episode and this one make me agree with Jammer: his acting is unfortunately very very poor.
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Arachnea
Thu, Feb 7, 2013, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fusion

This first season is a lot about misconceptions and I believe many of the viewers had heard that Enterprise had killed vulcans and was utter crap (good way to start to watch a series with prejudice).

Well, I'm not saying Enterprise was stellar, but it had its moments. At this point, we shouldn't forget it's a prequel and if this episode establishes something, it's obviously that 22nd century vulcans will evolve (we'll see how later in the show) and better themselves. So, viewers who say Enterprise killed a myth are wrong. If we accept that humans can better themselves through time, then we can also accept that vulcans have done the same, can't we ?

We have 22nd century vulcans who use (sometimes) twisted logic to justify their goals, they're depicted as overly arrogant and racist (note that Spock responded to "you're more human than you think" by "don't insult me", which is not very nice either). On the other hand, we have vulcans who seek their origin: vulcans are born with emotions - strong ones - and have a different interpretation of the teaching of Surak. The mind-meld not being common in vulcan's culture is a serious hint that something will change in the future.

Of course, I'm disappointed by the end of the episode and I have to agree that Archer isn't very likable. Jammer is right, we can't be sure who is the exception here: Tolaris or Vok ? What I don't understand is the captain punishing the whole crew for the act of one man (vulcan). He's depicted as everything has to be black or white: in the beginning, he believes T'Pol should be more like these emotional vulcans. At the end, he dismisses them as if they were all bad, thus repressing emotions must be the only good solution. I'd liked a more subtle approach...
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Arachnea
Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Breaking the Ice

Well, obviously, the plot is very forgettable, but the characters interactions are great. The first season is based on a commentary about prejudice, distrust, grudges and misconceptions. Here, we have a perfect example.

Some say Archer isn't intelligent and should be more of a diplomat. I agree to some degree. But I'd like to point out that vulcans (before finding their true philosophy) aren't the epitome of diplomacy, as depicted here by Vanik. He's, by humans standards, very rude and so is Archer by vulcan standards.

At this point, I agree with Jammer about Mayweather and I'm liking Trip a little more every episode: he's flawed and impulsive but honest with a great heart. On top of that, he's easily the best actor of the regular cast.
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Arachnea
Mon, Feb 4, 2013, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Unexpected

Unlike some Trek fans, I enjoyed some of the themes in Enterprise and it was a difficult mission for the writers to come with something new while remaining canon.

This episode is a mixed-bag: from very good to very bad. The worst being Archer and I'm not talking about a 24th century captain, but as a human being. I like the fact that the writers wanted to have the crew very flawed, but there are some limits. Archer doesn't show any empathy towards his crew (we've witnessed it in all first episodes): first he seems more interested in his dog than his crewman (and friend!) when Trip is obviously in psychological distress. Then, he doesn't even ask once if Trip's life is in any danger with the pregnancy, he's amused !

Having said that, the encounter with these aliens was interesting and I'd hoped they had taken more time to get to know each other's cultures but the realisation was good.

The other problems with this episode having already been written, I'll stop here.
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Arachnea
Fri, Feb 1, 2013, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

I very much appreciated last episode - The Void - and this two-parters. While the first wasn't very subtle, this one was, in the decoupage, the little scenes, the characters interactions and the social allegory. I much agree with Cloudane, my job doesn't define me, even if it's an important part of my life. And I very much agree with Paul York about brainwashing, slavery and "half-slavery".

To answer Chris, I never understood why they said Chakotay was a vegetarian. It was established on TNG that they didn't kill animals anymore. What they eat is replicated meat, thus, not really meat. My question is (being a vegetarian myself), for what reason Chakotay wouldn't eat replicated fish and meat when no animal suffered ?
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Arachnea
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

I agree with most people here. Sci-Fi - and Trek in particular - was/is a very good mean to talk about things considered otherwise taboo or to make allegories about our society.

In my opinion, for any TV-show to work, one must be able to identify with, or like or like to dislike characters. For this to happen, characters must be given some depth, then shows like this one works.

For instance, this one touched me very much because I grew up like B'elanna: being identified as a stranger because I was born asian. In my time (hmpff, makes me feel old) there wasn't the racial and cultural diversity there is today in my country and I can assure you it wasn't easy every day as a child. How many times have I thought of reshaping my eyes (when I was a teenager), so the genetic issue blended with the racial problem is really well thought. Today there are still racial problems but due to other things than being one in a thousand.

So, like I said, I believe it's important that popular sci-fi shows make people think about those kinds of issues. It won't touch everyone, but if it can make 1/4 of the watchers think, the job is done.

I didn't make this comment to whine about myself - I've accepted who and what I am with time and age - but to make some commenters understand why those kinds of shows, whatever the social or mythical allegory are, are worth existing, worth watching and worth our attention. And if english were my language, I'd have explained even better...

Conclusion: I like Star Trek for what it wishes to say, not for its bad science. If I want pure entertainment without any thinking, I've got plenty around to choose from :p.
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Arachnea
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

That was an excellent two-parters with subtle characterization and a good story.

That is, until the very end... I also thought the change in Iden was too abrupt, but I could live with it. What I found wrong - in an episode where there's an emphasis on consequences - that the Doctor doesn't suffer any consequences (except his own guilt).

I critisized Sisko a lot, so it's only fair to analyse Janeway too. I guess she is prejudiced against Paris. In another episode, we heard the captain tell Kim she wouldn't have been surprised if Paris had done what Kim did (which is totally wrong to tell to a co-worker).

So, Tuvok, Chakotay, Kim and now the Doc are just reprimanded while Paris is not only being demoted, he's put in the Brig (with no visitors, which is also wrong and a good way to have someone become irrational and getting psychologically disturbed) for a whole month. That means Ops, security and seconding are more valuable than the pilot ? And than the only medic ? Or that means there's an obvious double standard.

Well, I've said it, now I can move on :p. It's a shame, because the rest of this episode was great.
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Arachnea
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

Sorry... My previous comment is intended for Good Shepherd.

[Previous comment moved by administrator to correct page.]

Since I'm here, I have to say I agree with Elliott, it's a truly good episode indeed.
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Arachnea
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Good Shepherd

I liked this episode, though it would have fitted better in the second season. What bothers me is the idea that the captain doesn't know her small crew: they're less than 150 and have lived together for 6 years !

The other thing I find awkward is about Seven. Has she become the efficiency officer ? If I were a crewman, moreover a Starfleet officer with years of training, I'd be pissed to know that a former Borg has that much influence. In addition, I'd resent her "I'm superior and better than you" attitude. I'd have understood if she had asked a private meeting with Janeway to complain, but here, it looks like a formal senior officer's meeting.

Granted, that's a nitpick about an otherwise very enjoyable episode, but it's something that's always bothered me.
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Arachnea
Sun, Jan 20, 2013, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

Overall, I like these two-parters but did we really have to have Janeway becoming Sisko ?

Janeway has made bad decisions, has been wrong-headed and a little obsessive in the past. Sometimes, her behavior could be explained by the fact that she's all alone, no backup, to make tough and stressfull decisions.

But here, it doesn't make any sense. I'd have accepted some borderline obsession, but a cold-hearted murderer... and twice ! Once with the interrogation and then with the pact with the aliens. I also agree that Chakotay and Tuvok should have taken actions against their captain and I'd have liked to see more consequences.
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Arachnea
Sun, Jan 20, 2013, 7:19am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

I agree 100% with Jammer about R. Dawson. In my opinion, she's the best actress on Star Trek and I'd have liked to see more about B'elanna.

On top of that, she's a beautiful women... though, I don't really care about beautiful women. That's something that's always bothered me: all the women are (with very few exceptions) attractive. On the other hand, all the men (with very few exceptions) are not really handsome.

If you're a man but no top-model, you have a chance of being hired. If you're a woman, you must be somewhat charming. I'm not a feminist, but if I'm not bothered by unattractive guys - if they are good actors - the same should be true for women, shouldn't it ? And if you don't agree, so let us have some good-looking men too !

Sorry, that was my yearly ranting ;-).
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Arachnea
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

I thoroughly enjoy reading these reviews, but they really are biased against this show. I'd rather it would be rated for what it is and not for not being DS9. Don't get me wrong, I respect your point of view and the time/thoughts you put in these reviews.

Granted, it would have been great to have the crew remaining a bit more in the Void, there are many shuttle crashes, there are no long story-arcs, many plot-holes and easy ways out. However, there are often some nice subtle character developements that you don't talk about in favor of deploring plots and/or metaphors that are simply dismissed.

In this episode, it's nice to see how the staff react in their own particular ways. Though Neelix isn't my favorite character (by far :p), his panic attacks were very much in character and I felt for him. About Janeway, I don't agree it's not like her: a depression may "fall on" everyone, wether the time is right or wrong (well... usually, there's never a right time). One of the symptoms of depressive episodes is isolation. I certainly would have liked it not being magically cured at the end of this episode, but it's very consistent for a person who's had heavy weight on her shoulders - totally alone - to get depressed.

I know it's totally silly to write this comment years after you wrote your reviews, but as I'm overcoming my shyness to write in english, it felt good to type it ;-).
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Arachnea
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

I'm half/half with this one, with many things bothering me. I like the concept of a molecule destroying subspace and consequently warp-travel. A molecule that seems impossible to "tame" and too dangerous to "exist".

What bothered me:
- why all the secrecy ? Janeway gives an explanation that doesn't really make sense to me.
- how can Chakotay authorize Seven to treat the crew as she does ? Basically, it's not bad to organize and give specific tasks, but the designation is awful. Calling someone with a number is like denying one's individuality and treating one like a useful object, not a person. Ensign Kim's reaction should have been a total rejection of it, not being vexed because given a lower number...
- The spiritual side of the Borg - while interesting - doesn't strike me as consistent with what we know.

Finally, on a general sidenote, what does senior officer mean exactly (other than putting the cast together) ? Paris is a helmsman/nurse; Kim is a young ensign; the doctor has no grade. B'elanna (who wasn't there) and Tuvok are chief, therefore I understand and Chakotay is obvious. Seven, except for this story should never be there (or maybe she's considered the science officer Voyager never had).
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Arachnea
Sat, Jan 5, 2013, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

"Agreed, Neelix knows a lot about basic survival but he's not an officer."

Like what? He wasn't able to make fire, didn't know there are bugs under rocks you can eat - and this is important - Wasn't able to keep anyone alive! His stupidity got Hogan killed (his death BTW proved he was 100%ˇright in Alliances) and partially caused conflict with the natives. The asshole would get himself killed if Chakotay wouldn't come to save his ass.
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Arachnea
Wed, Dec 26, 2012, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Fair Trade

Just a sidenote about Neelix: I believe the character became what we know today because of Ethan Philips. In the first episodes, E. Phillips overplayed the goofy parts and emphasized the annoying traits of Neelix. Like Justin, I believe the writers partly write in relation to the actors. Had Phillips played his lines in a more serious, darker tone, Neelix could have become - like in this episode - a multi-layered and fully fledged character. One to challenge Starfleet attitudes or/and to gradually come to respect/embrace them. We viewers would have found the goofy parts funny if they'd been scarce.
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Arachnea
Mon, Dec 24, 2012, 6:49am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

The perfect show would have been a mixture of DS9 and Voyager:
DS9 was better in plots, storytelling,long arcs and use of great recurrent characters but lacked in allegories and deep-thoughts questions (sorry, I don't if that's the proper way to say it in english, but I guess you understand anyway) and forgot a lot about what Star Trek stood for initially. Voyager mostly was the contrary.

This episode is a perfect example. With a DS9 storytelling and the Voyager's thoughtfulness, it would have been excellent. Nic and Elliott already highlighted the good points, thanks.
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Arachnea
Sun, Dec 23, 2012, 1:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

Unlike Nic, Kim is not my favorite character. However, in this particular episode, I liked his growth: the naive young ensign who's been sheltered from bad thing all his life before coming aboard the Voyager must fight - both mentally and physically - for his life (and his friend's) in extreme circumstances.

After so many Trek seasons, some ideas are bound to be recycled and, when they are well used to explore important themes, I don't really mind.

What bothered me was Janeway's decision to offer a "hostage exchange". It really looks like meddling in another society's affairs, even if two of her crewmen have been wrongly accused. Knowing the swift and inaccurate justice system this government have, Janeway should have given proof (traces of the trilithium on the cargo shuttle), but not sending two young beings to something somewhat worse than a death sentence with absolutely no knowledge of the political situation.
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Arachnea
Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 4:36am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

I was very angry with the deaths of Hogan and Suder. I like to see familiar faces, recurring characters and Hogan's death was senseless. As for Suder's, it's a shame because of the wonderfull arc they could have done with him. Not only was the character interesting, but the actor was stellar !

I also don't understand why the captain would make Neelix or Kim leader of a team. Agreed, Neelix knows a lot about basic survival but he's not an officer. And Kim is just an ensign, there are many on the crew who outrank him.

What redeems this episode are the doc and Suder. Too bad, it had a lot of potential.
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Arachnea
Tue, Dec 18, 2012, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

Up until now, I didn't have the "hate" of Neelix that many commenters seemed to have. He was annoying at times, but he also had good and useful moments.

But I wonder if the writers wanted the viewers to dislike Neelix. His character is so over the top on so many levels, the writers gave him every wrong cliché there is: his outbursts of jealousy, his condescension or patronizing towards Kes, his belief that he's the most useful and underused on the ship or that the captain must be at his service each time he's got a complaint (he should have been included in Tuvok's boot camp :p), his less than subtle kind of racism with his "Mr. Vulcan", etc etc. Well... What I mean is I really don't understand where the writers were going with his character.

As for Kes, I really like her but I think it would have been wiser to make her a close friend of Neelix rather than her lover: this couple is creepy because of Kes's age, apparently still considered a child (as said in this episode, females enter adulthood when it's time to conceive). Plus, there are a lot of inconsistencies about her race. In addition to the babies problem, she's not even two but has the wisdom of an experienced 30 years old human. It's just too unbelievable.
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Arachnea
Mon, Dec 17, 2012, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

There's good and bad in this episode.
Most of the good is the acknowledgement that:
1. Voyager is partially run by new bio-tech;
2. Any non-Starfleet people (wether they're Maquis or not)would have a hard time adapting to heavy protocols on a starfleet ship.

The comic factors - the doc practising his bedside manners on the biogel packs or the cheese - didn't bother me. What felt totally wrong was the captain assigning a Vulcan for a task best suited for a counsellor. The military boot-camp was so so wrong... If you seek respect, you don't make the rebels do what Tuvok made them do (I would have mutinied against Tuvok too !)

What came right was the simulation and the pool discussion.

What I mean is that those two points should have been more developped, but not in one episode only. It's a shame because the bits of character developpement we had so far were pretty good.
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Arachnea
Wed, Dec 5, 2012, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

What I'm about to rant about is not a way to destroy the show, but to give my perspective on things. DS9 was mostly a good show, for its story arcs and developements, for its incredibly well written and well acted guest characters and some of its humour.

But, and there's a big but, it wasn't true to what Star Trek stood for. Through my enjoyment of it, I often was angry at the same time.

In the last episode, seeing the two regulars who were very Starfleet resolve to use the "end justifies the means" plot was terrible. Here we have one of the "greyish" characters of the show tell a (not very) Starfleet captain that Starfleet is dirty ? I can't accept that in the Trek Universe. It's wrong in so many ways not to give a cure... (I won't be talking about the cloudy take on religion, but if my language was english, I surely would, in length :p). I just believe this show should have been produced outside of Trek: it could have been even better under other premisces.

Just a note to Latex Zebra: What happened in Enterprise was before the Federation existed.
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Arachnea
Tue, Dec 4, 2012, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: When it Rains...

Just adding my 2 cents: it's about time that Kira was given another uniform. Each time she fought the dominion as a bajoran military, she broke the treaty of non agression between Bajor and the Dominion. Unfortunately, it's only briefly adressed in an earlier episodes and then dismissed.

Here, it makes sense to send a formerly trained resistant. Like other said, you don't organize a resistance in a matter of days, it takes time. And for a race like the cardassians who's always been the occupant, reversing a way of thinking is not natural.
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Arachnea
Tue, Dec 4, 2012, 2:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

I really liked the Damar/Weyoun arc which offered some new dynamics. But the Dukat/Winn arc let me very disappointed.

Frankly, I'd have preferred to have the writers kill Dukat instead of making him a Paghwraith lover. What happened to Winn was very believable, her distress then the research to seek out what she was in for. Then, poof, they turn her evil ? Yes, she is a woman with hunger for power and yes, she has blood on her hands, but that was because she truly believed she was the one the bajorans needed. She cared for Bajor, during the occupation she tried to ease the pain for some of her fellow bajorans. I'm not saying she was a model of wisdom or goodness, but seeing her accepting to destroy many bajorans or burning the planet she loves is totally out of character. The writers had constructed her characterization very subtly (most of the time), so I'm bitter that this work comes down to this appalling conclusion.
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Arachnea
Mon, Dec 3, 2012, 4:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

I won't discuss the "Roddenberry vision" now; it's been done and re-done. But I wanted to add little things in response to some posts here.

How can one see Bashir's speech as petty ? It's true to his principles, his ideals, his morality and to the Federation. How can someone see the incarceration or possibly the death penalty of an innocent woman as something justifiable ?

How can one take the mirror universe as an example ? It is so twisted and unrealistic, just made to offer fans something special or comic.

As we know, the Federation never gave up its weapons: even the flagship which is intented for exploration, is heavily armed.

If, in a time of war, you forget everything you're fighting for, then why fight at all ? Here, I'm just very disappointed by Admiral Ross. He was the first admiral so far who wasn't corrupted or evil.

An interesting point Jammer raises is about Sisko. I always wondered why Sisko would want to risk Bashir to uncover section 31, because it's definitely not part of his agenda or responsibilities as captain of DS9. It makes sense that Sisko knew all along and was asked to order Bashir to accept Sloan's offer. That implies that Sisko'd be even worse than he already is, but adding that to the already long list of wrongs he did wouldn't be that much :p.
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Arachnea
Sun, Dec 2, 2012, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

I have to say what's always bothered me is that in the whole Star Trek Franchise, we've never seen a true subtle man/man or woman/woman love relationship.

So, the writers insult the LGBT by authorizing pseudo-lesbianism in the mirror-universe. It rings like only an evil universe can have homosexuals... Moreover, the use of Quark to become a ridiculous female ferengi in the most mysoginistic episode of all time (profit and lace).

I never really cared for mirror universes, but this one is certainly the worst.
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