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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

@Peter G.-

I think you're right. DS9 wasn't Babylon 5 when it comes to long-form storytelling, but it was absolutely ahead of the curve, and were constantly fighting with the higher ups at Paramount. They wanted the 6-episode arc at the beginning of the sixth season to be 9 episodes, for example. The show as a whole has a very interesting approach to serialization. There are episodes like "Visionary" that utilize the status quo but don't actually advance the main story, there are episodes that move forward a character's development like "Return to Grace", and of course there are the massive, universe-altering events like "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast".

Also, I felt that many of DS9's non-Dominion episodes were either great in their own right and/or told a story worth telling, or contained great character moments and development.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

@Springy-

"Not sure why the Dominion would want to bother with a non aggression pact with Bajor. I don't have the impression Bajor has the resources to make much difference in any Alpha Quadrant takeover attempt by the Dominion. "

They want to prove to the Alpha Quadrant two things: 1)-They're a peaceful power who means the Alpha Quadrant powers no harm and 2)-They're a great power of their word.


Onto the rest of the episode, I think it's really beautiful. One of the best DS9 episodes for me-great writing, acting, pacing, and editing. A comedy classic.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Great point, @Chrome. Most Trek one-offs have the reset button. The question is whether the writer(s) can make the journey compelling. In this case, I think Rene Echevarria (and Gary Holland and Ethan H. Calk) absolutely did (but I know you disagree-you gave this 1.5 stars! Ouch).


@Springy-


"And it's hard to buy the lack of discussion, the lack of pushback, and the method by which they abandon DS9 (to who knows what, with no commander, no doctor, no science officer, no chief engineer . . . ) - so that these 8,000 people could continue to exist - especially since neither choice (stay, go) seems to clearly mean continued existence or non-existence. "

This is an understandable criticism. Michelle Erica Green's review brings up the point that someone should have brought up the Dominion or the junior officers-does it make sense that the decision seemingly hinges upon O'Brien's conscience? Well, not entirely, But O'Brien is a regular character, and the junior officers aren't. And I'm sure Starfleet will find other talented individuals to replace the DS9 senior staff-as you've seen in "Call to Arms", they have a massive, massive fleet. I think "Children of Time" goes pretty in depth on the moral dilemma (there's only so much time in 45 minutes), but ymmv. The colony story secondary to the Odo/Kira story-Echevarria's a character writer, and one of the strongest in the franchise at that-, so leaps in logic in the colony section of the episode don't bother me much.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Sons of Mogh

@Elliott-

I think you hit this squarely on the head. It starts off really well... until it crashes and burns. The ending is no different from if Worf had just been allowed to kill Kurn in the first place. Especially considering Bashir is the most similar to a TNG cast member-he even brought up the Prime Directive at one point. Ronald D. Moore actually agreed. "But the way the show plays out ultimately, there is a little bit of a feeling that you go to Bashir’s laboratory to to get your memory wiped, and that he is the mad scientist."

I agree that Kurn would find this fate worse. However, the fact that Kurn views giving up and committing suicide-by-Worf is in any way "honorable" says a lot about the contradictions inherent to Klingon society. So that was one interesting thing I took away from this episode, along with the poignant final image of Worf being all alone. It's an interesting episode, but it doesn't entirely work.
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 26, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

As is often the case, I find myself disagreeing with almost everything you posted here, even though I think the two-parter isn't the best in the series.

" A very good two parter on the character development aspect. A mess on the "war story" development - no suspense, just confusion. Will the Dominion really attack? Will they go back to dilly dallying as they did last season? Do I care?"

I don't really see what's confusing here-the Dominion has made inroads in the Alpha Quadrant, so they have a base from which to attack the Klingons and the Federation. They never planned to attack yet-they want to wait to amass their forces to the point that they can completely obliterate the Federation. Last season, they did not have a base of attack in the Alpha Quadrant, somewhere to retreat to if they lost. Now they do-in fact this is what they were doing last season and for the first half of this one-they were negotiating with the Cardassians, who were in that state due to the war with the Klingons, which the Dominion helped instigate. They were not "dilly dallying". As to whether you care, I think the Dominion is one of the best creations in all of Star Trek that results in some of the franchises' best thematic explorations of ideas like faith ("Treachery, Faith, and the Great River") and honor ("Rocks and Shoals"). Yes, those are from future episodes, but I feel those themes were always present with the Dominion. So I personally was very invested in them up to this point. They're very well developed, and they cast some of the most memorable actors in the franchise to play them, be them one offs like Scott MacDonald from "Hippocratic Oath" or recurring characters like Jeffery Combs as Weyoun from "To the Death" and "Ties of Blood and Water". I guess I'm really struggling to understand your frustration and disappointment with them, especially considering you negatively compared the Dominion to the Borg, a concept which was run into the ground and ruined by Voyager, and the Xindi, whom I didn't find nearly as interesting or well developed. Different strokes I suppose.

"Just what does it mean, to become part of the Dominion? What terrible things will befall you? I get that their vengeance is terrible if you dare try to leave them, and of course, no one likes to give up their autonomy, but . . . what horrors await Cardassia? What horrors would await Kronos or Romulus or Earth, if they were forced to become part of the Dominion? And why, exactly, is the Dominion bound and determined to take over the Alpha Quadrant? They don't trust solids, I get that, so why not just close the wormhole?"

All of these questions are pretty clear to me. To start with the last one, the Dominion could close the wormhole, but that doesn't take care of the solid threat permanently, and from what we've seen, they have an infinite lifespan. It's better to ensure the Alpha Quadrant is no longer a threat now so they don't have to worry about it later. And since the Jem'Hadar fight their battles for them, there's no personal cost. Just as there was no personal cost for European generals in World War 1 who sent millions of young men to their deaths, so they had no problem doing it. Now, onto what happens when a world becomes part of the Dominion and why it's so awful-the Founders are a group of fascists. That in and of itself is a pretty good explanation for why people are so scared of becoming a part of them, but they're also a group of genocidal warlords who are willing to use biological warfare to achieve their aims ("The Quickening") and to genetically engineer slaves to do their bidding. No one in the Federation, a free society, would be willing to make concessions to a group like that, even with a show of power (This is shown in an episode you haven't seen yet, "Statistical Probabilities"). Last time the free world made concessions to fascism, it didn't work out so well-it resulted in France being taken in weeks. I use all these real world parallels because I'm certain the DS9 writers had them in mind-it shows that DS9 is doing what Trek's supposed to do: provide a reflection of the human condition through a sci-fi lens.
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 26, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

@Springy-

" I was surprised at the high rating. A good ep, but not a classic to me. Too much crazy contrivance beyond the unavoidable paradox stuff, especially when it comes to how the tough decisions are made. Reset button conveniently hit by old-Odo."

I disagree. What's brilliant about the ending is that it 'hits the reset button' (as it must) in a way that makes sense for the characters and is devastating. It's a love story filtered through a sci-fi high concept-it's outstanding in my opinion. Yes, you have to suspend disbelief, but that's the case with pretty much all of Star Trek. The technobabble is never the point (and in this case, I don't even think this was a particularly incoherent use of it). So, I do see this episode as a classic, and one of the best in the whole franchise.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 23, 2019, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@Peter G.-

Ironic, isn't it? That the "bastard stepchild" of the franchise would produce the most effective encapsulation of Trek's core values, and have that episode be one of the best pieces of science fiction in any medium.

@Mal-

Wonderful post. If you want good science fiction, I'd also recommend "Person of Interest". It's disguised as a procedural, but it's great sci-fi nonetheless, and my personal favorite show.


As for Brooks' overreaction, I used to cringe as well. But I intellectually, at least, think that it definitely makes sense. This is a man pushed to his limit by a constant stream of abuse and dehumanization. It's no surprise to me, that when he goes off the deep end, it's in a very unhinged and uncomfortable way.
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Iceman
Tue, Jan 22, 2019, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

@Peter G.-

Personally, I liked it. Several reviewers have described DS9 as an island of misfit toys. Finally, Bashir fits in on DS9!
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Iceman
Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

@Elliott-

I see. Well, I don't care for Janeway's character. Not because of the actress, who shined whenever given a good script. For example, "Counterpoint" is in my top 5 Voyager episodes. However, I do feel that the writers never quite got a handle on characterizing her consistently, which leaves me never quite being as invested in her as I should be. And yes, she made many reprehensible decisions for purely selfish reasons ("ENDGAME"-ok, not going to rag on this again, but it's awful). At least Sisko's "I can live with it" was done to save the entire Alpha Quadrant. Besides, Sisko was under no delusions about what he'd done.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

@Elliott-

" Thank you. Anti-Janeway bias creeps in prevalently in a lot of Voyager reviews. Given that all of her attempts at forming alliances here end in failure, whether the ones she found unsavoury (Cullah) or the ones that she actively endorsed (Mabus), I don't see how one can miss that the failure is an intentional choice to shape the character. "

Define "Anti-Janeway bias". Are you referring to disliking Kate Mulgrew's performance, or critiques of Janeway's characterization?
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

@Elliott-

Honestly, I think there are definitely worse episodes than "Threshold". Though its ending certainly sinks it into the bottom tier of Voyager, it doesn't do any lasting damage to the series, unlike "Investigations" later this season. It's just a really dull hour of television with a laughably atrocious ending. I certainly don't hate it as much as "Endgame".
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

@Elliott-

"Everything about the way Odo's attraction is portrayed is conveyed in very conventional, human (read: American) terms. This is a shorthand that Star Trek uses often, and I don't really have a problem with it in that respect, but I can't write Kira's obliviousness off in the same breath. "

Well, I think it's pretty obvious why it's not something that should be complained about-Star Trek is made by Americans. That being said, I do have a problem with how all the substantive Odo/Kira stories in the series are from Odo's perspective. I don't think it's a problem with "Crossfire" though. It specifically calls him out for his behavior. It only becomes a problem for me when they start trying to sell the Odo/Kira pairing believably.
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

@Chrome-

DS9 embraced the Maquis until, in the words of SFdebris, it wiped out the Maquis with the power of exposition in "Blaze of Glory".
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@Yanks-

Yup! It was on the "Invasive Procedures" thread ( and I stand by what I posted a few months ago-DS9 S7 is the clear winner of the three season 7's for me).
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

@Chrome-

" What is the Marquis' cause anyway? Is it to prevent assimilation by the Federation? Maybe they should align themselves with the Borg since they see as them as the lesser of two evils. "

I agree with @Peter G. that the Maquis storyline was, in general, a failure that added nothing to Voyager, TNG, or DS9, but I think the DS9 writers did a brilliant job of tying in Eddington's story-line to the Maquis. Eddington probably doesn't really care about treaties or whatnot-he's just feeling a sense of dissatisfaction with his own life, and throws himself behind this radical cause to assuage it. That's where his ideological takedown of the Federation (which maybe has good points in it but is definitely over-dramatic) comes from. His penchant for melodrama is also brought up again in "For the Uniform" and "Blaze of Glory". So I think combining Eddington with the Maquis strengthened both arcs, and was overall a great success (I loved all 3 Eddington episodes).
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

@Elliott-

"Auberjonois' delivery here was so perfect that I spat out my coffee."

Auberjonois is a goddamn treasure, and this is not open to debate.

" What doesn't work for me about the former is the fact that Kira is so fucking dense about Odo's feelings for her. She is very experienced with romantic relationships, very intelligent and very forthright about her opinions and observations, whereas Seven has/had the emotional maturity of a seven-year-old."

I suppose I can see where you're coming from, but I was just re-watching "Children of Time" again (brilliant episode btw), and Odo notes that he did *everything* in his power to conceal his feelings. Add that to his already gruff demeanor, and I think it's plausible that Kira would be in the dark. After all, Odo's never mentioned or showed attraction to a solid before.
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Iceman
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

@Springy-

"They're pairing Garak and Ziyal? Ugh. He's too old for her and he tortured her grandfather to death and he's always seemed a bit sweet on Julian. But au contraire, I guess. This is going to take some selling. I'll try to keep an open mind."

They don't. But, it works more if you view it as a hopeless crush on Ziyal's part.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@William B-

Yeah, I have a hard time ranking the TNG golden years (3-6). Season 5 has possibly my favorite television episode in all of science fiction, "The Inner Light", and "Darmok", another phenomenal outing. Perhaps that's enough to compensate for that really weak run in the middle, maybe not. It's hard to say. I had a hard time ranking them with the DS9 golden years as well (4-7). They're all really great seasons. I just feel that the DS9 seasons were perhaps a bit more consistent overall (I know you disagree based on your ratings, but different strokes I suppose). Take that ranking with a grain of salt. The top 6 or so are pretty much equal for me. I do feel that TNG S5 is the weakest though, and TNG S4 is a bit below the rest.

I was ranking modern Trek, but I am quite fond of TOS, even if the quality fades over time. Season 1 is really good and consistent. Season 2 is a mixed bag but has a lot of classics. Season 3 is largely awful, and would be right down there with the worst seasons of Trek.

@Peter G.-I really like "The Ensigns of Command", "The Survivors", "Who Watches the Watchers", "The Enemy", "The Defector", and "The Hunted" (unpopular opinion?). Some average stuff in there, but the only really bad episode to me is "The Vengeance Factor". And to me it's still not as bad as the lows from other TNG seasons. And, as you said, the second half is even better-so many great episodes in that run-"Yesterday's Enterprise", "The Offspring", "Sins of the Father", "The Most Toys", "Sarek", "The Best of Both Worlds Part 1". So I'd still say TNG S3 is the show's finest. I don't really re-watch TNG seasons as a whole though-one of the nice things about it is that you can go back and re-watch your favorites in almost any order-but maybe re-watching "Menage a Troi" again would change my mind.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@startrekwatcher-

I always felt that Season 6, from "A Quality of Life" onward, was one of the most consistent runs in the show. "Chain of Command Part 2" and "Tapestry" are classics, and in my opinion, "Quality of Life", "Ship in a Bottle", "Face of the Enemy", "Lessons", "The Chase", "Frame of Mind", "Rightful Heir", "Second Chances", and "Timescape" are very good. You're definitely not alone in your opinion though; I've seen plenty of people say that seasons 3-5 of TNG were the peak, and the decline began in Season 6. I'm sticking with my opinion-the second half of Season 6 was excellent, and there was a sharp decline in the first half of 7. Season 5 has a stretch from "The Game" to "The Masterpiece Society", in which all the episodes are on the lower end of mediocre at best. And even after that, there are still some shockingly awful episodes like "The Outcast", "The Cost of Living", and "Imaginary Friend".

As for how I'd rank the best seasons? Probably......

DS9 S4
TNG S3
DS9 S5
DS9 S7
DS9 S6
TNG S6
TNG S4
TNG S5

Those are the seasons that land squarely in the positive for me. Enterprise Seasons 1-2, TNG Seasons 1-2, and Voyager Seasons 2-3 were largely awful. The rest of Voyager and Enterprise, along with the final season of TNG and DS9 S1-3, range from ok to pretty good for me.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 8:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

@William B-

I don't mind "Extreme Measures" so much, actually. Its plot is not great, but it focuses on the O'Brien/Bashir relationship a lot, which is automatically a huge positive for me. "Sons and Daughters" does not have that, and "The Reckoning" destroys any hope of the religious side of DS9 reaching a satisfying conclusion.
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Iceman
Sun, Jan 6, 2019, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

@William B-

Imagine what could have been if she'd joined the writing staff to replace Robert Hewitt Wolfe instead of Weddle and Thompson. Not to attack them or anything, but their output could charitably called uneven. Yes, television's a collaborative process, but that can't be a coincidence. She's a fantastic writer-she can do comedy ("Band Candy") and drama ("Conversations With Dead People") really well.
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Iceman
Sun, Jan 6, 2019, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

@Peter G.-

Sorry for the two month delay. I don't really get the love for "Cause and Effect". It's a well told sci-fi tale, but it gets repetitive the first time through for me, let alone on re-watch. I'll take "Parallels" or "The Next Phase" over it any day (controversial opinion, I know).
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 5, 2019, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@Gary V.-

-Yes, economic theory can be interesting, but it was pretty much a mess in Star Trek by the time DS9 came around. There wasn't much to be done. I'm pretty sure Ron Moore said at some point the idea of a money-less society was ludicrous, hence why they added gold-pressed latinum to the Trek universe, and why they poked fun at it in "In the Cards".

-I believe the Ferengi were intentioned to be a serious critique, but they were such a failure it seemed like it was the other way around-almost as if they were invented by people who disagreed with Roddenberry in order to create an anti-capitalist straw-man. Ira Steven Behr was determined to make them workable, which is why they were brought back for DS9. He succeded to a degree in my opinion, but not without some catastrophic failures (If I never see "Profit and Lace" again, it'll be too soon).
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 5, 2019, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@Gary V.-I respectfully disagree with your criticisms. (PS-Did you like "In the Cards"?)

" I appreciate what this episode tried to accomplish, and for the most part, I do think it hit more than a few of those emotional beats. But there are three things that keep this from being a "The Visitor" level story for me."

The interesting thing about that "The Visitor" comment section is filled with people saying how that episode isn't quite as good as "The Inner Light". I guess nothing is.

" I find it funny that a show that consistently deals with the nuance of race relations in turbulent times(see the Bajorans vs Cardassians)"

There isn't really that much nuance to the Cardassian/Bajoran situation. It's wrong to paint all Cardassians with one brush, but the planet is guilty as sin. As long as they continue to deny the atrocities committed during the Occupation, Kira is justified in disliking those who do (which seems to be a large portion of them). I don't think this was any less nuanced. They showed Herb standing up for Benny, but he's a minority, greatly outnumbered by cowards like Pabst. Just like Marritza seems to be outnumbered by those who justify the Occupation.

"would have a cartoonish depiction of real 20th century life. The same goes with "Little Green Men.""

"Little Green Men" was explicitly a comedy though. It was deliberately hokey. I think "Far Beyond the Stars" largely has its bases covered for an episode scripted by three white men who didn't grow up in the time period in which the episode is set.
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Iceman
Fri, Jan 4, 2019, 8:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Sons of Mogh

@Springy-

Actually, Worf attempting to kill his brother was one of the parts of the episode that made sense to me. It fits with what we know about Klingon culture (it's not all that honorable) and Worf's devotion to it.
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