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JC
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

(As an aside, it's definitely interesting to imagine how things in the Delta quadrant wouldve played out differently if Voyager didn't have one of their own crew sent to the ocampa to motivate their search, though, and if nobody was there to calm Torres down).
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JC
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

@Robert Well, there wasn't any evidence really that the caretaker thought Kim was a potential match before snagging them. Recall he ran tests on everybody at the array. He stated Janeway and the others didn't "have what he needed", implying that he didn't know until after he stuck them with needles. Nothing really suggests he wouldn't have grabbed Voyager on the alternate timeline. It appeared he was just grabbing whatever ships from the badlands at that moment.

And he couldn't send them back because he was too weak, even if he didn't find any viable candidates on board.

More likely I would imagine that in the alternate timeline only Torres would've been sent to the Ocampa (and possibly somebody else from Voyager if there was another match in crew that was only there in the alternate timeline but we can't know that and it's moot anyways), and the dying caretaker still wouldn't have sent anybody back.
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JC
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

I also found this episode boring, but enjoyed some of the interactions.

I think it was a mistake for them to try and show us a map of the ship. It took away from the effect a bit. The deformed ship in the map didn't look like it would produce the rearrangement of corridors seen. They should've shown something more unrecognizable or nothing.

I thought everybody's "last words" at the end were kinda cheesy but at least we didn't get any "I've always loved you"s out of it.

The end was a bit anticlimactic but on par with the dullness of the rest of the episode. A whole bunch of debate and panic and suspense and then... I guess they slowly and silently turn green then it's back to the birthday party.

I'm pretty sure when Kim wanted to "turn the implosion into an explosion" he was proposing to switch the Voyager from suck to blow. So that's a win at least.
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JC
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

I really like @Carbetarian's alternate plot above, with Kim accepting the reality then Voyager pulling him back. The contrast of the crew being relieved he was back vs. his tragedy wouldve been great.
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JC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

@Jammer By the way, fwiw I actually didn't see the mating thing coming. I was actually pretty convinced that the space worms were going to try and *eat* Voyager (there was all that talk about eating at the beginning), and that they had the ability to pull it objects in with magnetic fields to help them consume space junk or something. I thought the big one was the mother and that she was either going to hell the little ones have snack time with the Voyager or scold them for trying to eat a space ship.
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JC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

So... "sexually attracted to our subspace emissions" might top "get the cheese to sickbay".

We have people making out on turbolifts, Kes turning into a horny crack-elf with sticky hands (while Neelix debates, shall we say, releasing power from his impulse capacitance cells straight into her under-age driver coils), a bunch of space worms have a crush on the ship, and... I can't even continue because the last 8 minutes just turned into one hilarious innuendo for me (I just about lost it when Janeway emphatically declared "*we* ram *him*" - all hands brace for impact indeed). I think there was supposed to be a lesson about parenting in here somewhere.

I also seem recall some sort of weird sexual tension between Janeway and Chakotay just after Kim ... vented plasma residue all over space, or something, but I can't be sure, it was all a haze at that point.

Wtf did I just watch?
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JC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Initiations

I don't think the fact that Kazons and Klingons have some similarities is fair grounds for criticicism. There's a lot of races, many are bound to have similarities. The KazonKazon are no more like Klingons than the Romulans, Cardassians, Vulcans, Bajorans, etc. are like humans.

The share some warrior traits, but since we can't relate directly because of their stark contrast to humans, it's easy to lump Klingons, Kazons, etc. together. It doesn't really strike me as lazy writing or retreading though. Just another race with a warrior inclination, of which we can reasonably assume more than one exist in this universe.

That said that doesn't mean I like the choice of making the Kazon be the primary villain in the quadrant. The Kazon can be criticized but not because they share some common traits with Klingons. They can be criticized because they're not particularly interesting. We're in the Delta quadrant. We should get something weirder. Trek has had a lot of unique, interesting villain races, like the Vidiians, Vorta, Borg, and many others. The Kazon don't really make the cut.
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JC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

To @Aj's very first comment re prime directive: They had no idea there even *was* a civilization there, and they had a lot of reason to overlook the possibility: All they saw was no life signs and a 20th century earth distress call. They investigated. Nothing was really in place to signal a first contact situation to them.

The problem I had with this story is they didn't pursue the Briori angle at all. You'd think that given getting home was so important, that at the bare minimum they'd ask Neelix if he ever heard of them. Sure there's a possibility that 400 years later they're not around any more, but it would've been worth looking into if there were even a small chance that they had the technology to get home.

In addition to wanting to see a hippie van floating through space, BTW, it would've been hilariously awesome to make Amelia Earhart be part of the crew for the rest of the series.
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JC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

A VW Vanagon would've bumped this up to 4 stars.
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JC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 8:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

This really should have been like the 2nd or 3rd episode of the season.

I'm a little surprised that Starfleet makes Bajorans take off their earrings. Voyager is the only series I've seen actually enforce this policy.

Somebody needs to inform DS9 that a punch in the face and a romp through some Jefferies tubes is all it takes to turn the Maquis into proper Starfleet crew.

I think we can make a drinking game out of tight shots of people giving concerned stares with the sound of a closing door in the background.

I had to laugh a little at Neelix's food making the ship itself sick (and "get the cheese to sickbay" isn't a line I ever expected to hear on a trek episode). He's definitely not getting an "A" from the health department.

Still, it was a slight stretch for me to accept that Starfleet doesn't have the tech to filter even the most "pernicious" bacteria and tiniest viruses through the ventilation system. I am also constantly baffled by Federation technology design in terms of robustness; you'd think they'd have learned something by now from all the instances of failed "manual" door overrides and inability to shut things off in a crunch (how many times in all the Treks have we seen something out of control that can't be turned off).

I enjoyed this episode more than I thought I would (even with Tuvok and company trapped in a trapped-in-a-room-together cliche together, although the corniness increased exponentially after that), I just don't think it was appropriate as a season ender.

Also it was kind of cheesy ha ha ha.
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JC
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

PS Again, not the same JC as the one that posted last November.
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JC
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

I disagree with Jammer a bit on the ending. I don't think it was gratuitous.

The way I chose to interpret it was that Jetrel *ignored* all evidence that it wouldn't succeed. Despite the fact that literally everybody he spoke to felt it wouldn't succeed, he tried anyways, because he *had* to try because of his regrets; he didn't care that there was a high chance of failure, he never gave up trying. Similarly I felt Neelix encouraged Janeway to allow the experiment for a similar reason: It didn't matter if it was plausible or not, they just had to *try*. Also it was a sign that Neelix was accepting Jetrels motives (and everything that implies).

I think this was a powerful moment in establishing Jetrels futile desire to make up for his past (futile being the key word), as well as moving Neelix forward as a character.

Without this experiment, I don't think the true depth of Jetrels regret could have been as effectively conveyed.
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JC
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

But also yeah I totally agree with @Gin's comment above regarding the handling of Klingons and the human-centricness of this all. Nobody seemed to really get them quite right after TNG. DS9 also struggled with this in every season except maybe the last (to some extent).
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JC
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

@BillT Selfish, maybe, but not so unreasonable for a Klingon in captivity.

Anyways, I mostly liked this episode for its creepy factor. The Viidians are pretty disturbing to me, and the episode sort of reminded me of that episode of Farscape where everybody got twinned and many watched themselves die, which for some reason greatly affected me.

I liked this one a lot. Even if some of the premise was a bit weird, I found it to be thought provoking and disturbing, two things I like. The Viidians are unusual for Trek, they're uniquely eerie. The doctor coming in wearing Dursts face in a misguided attempt to make nice sent more chills down my spine than any other episode of Trek I can think of.
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JC
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

Since when could a phaser split and take out an entire room full of people (and auto aim at each of them no less)?

PS I'm not the same JC as above, presuming an alien didn't take over my mind momentarily last November.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

@MartinB I know, right? Too bad the federation didn't hire that same company to design their holodeck and ship power systems.

I wonder if that company also designed every door lock in the universe. That could explain why they all have the same security flaw where shooting the keypad immediately opens the door.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

My biggest issue here was that immediately dealing with Gath was assumed morally right, and dealing with Jaret was assumed morally wrong. But we are never really presented with strong evidence either way here. For all we know Jaret is the good guy and Gath is lying or whatever (and evidence actually kind of points to something like this).

So I couldnt really buy into the dilemma. I just didn't see any reason for Janeway to so readily and blindly accept that dealing with Gath was the morally better choice. I had to side with Skinny O'Brien and the World's Ugliest Bajoran not because of a moral choice but because their course of action was the only one with any compelling weight behind it.

I did appreciate Janeways point at the end, though, where her biggest problem wasnt what they did, but rather that tuvok went behind her back when doing it. I thought that was a strong and well executed interaction.

I just had a really hard time with Janeways struggle here, I wish a more contrasting dilemma would have been present.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

(Even conflicts like the Alphas being extraordinarily sadistic but risking victory, with the Gammas questioning their motives and placing victory above all else. Sort of like the Klingons view on cowardice vs honor. There's a zillion possible directions to take it.)
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

@William Perhaps. There are all sorts of places our imagination could go. Personally I would have liked to have seen e.g. Gamma Jem'Hadar and Klingons reach a mutual respect, honorable warrior style (a la By Infernos Light), while the Alpha Jem'Hadar become more and more ruthless, with both loyally serving the Founders for the most part but with some critical conflict during the heat of the war between the Gammas values and morals and the Alphas loose cannon ways. If that makes sense. That was a lot to pack in one sentence.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Emanations

I really, really liked the initial premise of this episode. I loved the concept of this entire races religious beliefs being challenged by the appearance of somebody from their "afterlife". I loved the idea of deaths unknowns being viewed from the other side and of the potential conflict it puts Kim and the Voyager crew in.

But then it took a different direction. None of this conflict was really that adequately explored. Valuable screen time was wasted by bodies appearing on the ship and an irrelevant jeopardy. (It was not interesting to focus on dangers to the ship from subspacd vacuules. We didn't need that. Far more interesting was the implications to Kim and this culture.) The episode turned into a fairly routine quest to trg and get Kim back.

I am reminded somewhat of the TNG episode First Contact and the way the Federations arrival challenged the Malcorian way of life; and the internal conflicts that society had and the weight of the compromise that was reached. Of course that was not about religion exactly - in that culture it was a challenge to the Malcorian view of their place in the universe - but the general concept of the core beliefs of a society being deeply shaken was handled well and with great depth. I was sad to not see this episode get a similarly in depth treatment. We didn't even get to see the impact Kim had here.

A strong start but went the wrong direction with an unremarkable finish.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

Ick... let's see:

- We keep missing opportunities to see the Voyager crew's awe at the discovery of new life and new civilizations. For a race of explorers, I'm starting to become disappointed at their lack of caring. In this particular episode, it manifests as the off-screen arrival at a significantly advanced planet and off-screen introduction to their people. The Voyager crew is treating their vacation to the unexplored Delta quadrant, the farthest humans have been from home for an extended period of time, as very run-of-the-mill. Contrast with e.g. the Enterprise taking 10 voluntary days to learn about the Cytherian's in TNGs The Nth Degree despite being whisked 30,000 light years away against their will, or even DS9's infrequent exploratory forays into the Gamma quadrant (e.g. their compelling urge to explore regardless of consequences in Children of Time).

- There are chihuahuas in the Delta quadrant.

- It's good to see the Delta quadrant has a similar percentage of humanoid species with vaginas on their foreheads as the Alpha quadrant does.

- Baneans don't seem to mind Janeway and Tuvok walking around armed with their phasers in their prison (or whatever that place was). Actually, all of their law enforcement policies, at least what we see here, seem weirdly lax. Especially strange is how open Dr. Whatever-his-name-is was to allowing the Voyager crew to examine Tom given the risk of them uncovering his involvement in the conspiracy.

- I hope Voyager doesn't make a habit of declaring friendships instead of letting them evolve on their own. We're 2 for 3 now (Kim -> Paris, Paris -> Tuvok; the only organic one so far is the doctor and Kes).

"The meat doesn't taste right" just about sums up this episode of Days of Our Lives.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

@Charlie That's a decent out-of-story rationalization for Chakotay's logic, although personally I suspect it was just an honest plot hole. I suspect the writers just forgot that cancelling Janeway's mission wouldn't have saved the Maquis crew -- they're all fairly integrated as the Voyager's starfleet crew at this point.

My personal problem with his logic is it doesn't actually seem like the Voyager has had all that big of an impact on the Delta quadrant yet. Sure, butterfly effect, yada yada, but it's too early in the series for anybody to be claiming that they've had a huge impact, we just haven't actually seen all that much yet outside of the Ocampa's one random isolated planet, a couple of lone Frankensteins, and Clifford the big red space dog.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

(Another way of looking at it is that if "the conclusion is inevitable" is a basis for criticism, even subtle, then it seems the implication is that the writers should never try such things in the first place. But it isn't reasonable to expect the writers of a series about a crew trying to get home to never attempt to write an episode about a crew trying to get home solely because it's inevitable that the crew won't get home. So you have to appreciate stories with inevitable outcomes for what they are: Stories. Otherwise why even be interested in watching them in the first place? That's why we watch series like these.)
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

As with some of the other commenters, I also really enjoyed this episode, and would give it 3.5 stars as well.

I have noticed that Jammer very often raises the inevitability of the conclusion (based on the fact that a series must go on) in reviews. I don't think this is *always* fair. Sometimes it is fair for poorly done jeopardy plots, especially when they wrap up with a contrived last minute twist packed into the last 5 minutes of an episode.

But I don't think it is a fair point for episodes like this one. The premise of this series is the crew trying to get home. So, personally, I don't really have a problem suspending my knowledge that they won't. I enjoy putting myself on the ship, hoping they will get home, and being engaged in the disappointment when they don't. I think it is part of being a "good" viewer of a story. Shoddy writing can make this impossible but this episode did a great job of setting up something I could empathize with, so regardless of the fact that we know there's still more episodes to come, I appreciate what this episode's A story offered.
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JC
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Too bad the Alpha vs. Gamma friction fizzled out completely, never to be mentioned again, in true DS9 style.

I read on memory alpha that they had planned on expanding on this but shelved it. The writers seem to have a consistent pattern of running away from interesting challenging storylines.
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