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Matthew Martin
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2

I think the only thing holding this episode back is a kind of lethargic pace.

Compare it to cliffhangers like Kobol 2 or Pegasus. One ends with a bummer ending, the old man is shot and left for dead. The other ends with tension turned up to 11, Adama marching down the hallway ready to go to war with Cain.

This ends with a bummer as well, but the tension, the operatic drama, the mood is a bit more "going through the motions" than in Kobol 2. I suppose it was a necessary evil since they decided on the time-jump. Once you do that, you're almost forced to lay a lot of pace-halting exposition down, showing us where everyone is and how they've changed.

You can't show all those changes after the Cylons find them, because then the normal New Caprica life they settled into over the past year is out the window. You can't hold off on the Cylons returning until next season because then you have no cliff hanger. All you can do...is both. So that's what they did and the pace suffered.

A necessary evil but one that I would still rather praise for its ambitions (balls, as you call it) over a lesser show that was too scared to take such lofty chances.
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Matthew Martin
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 8:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1

Doing my quarantine-induced rewatch right now and finally got to this one.

I feel the same way you do, Jammer, in that the episode just sort of stops without bringing anything to a thematic conclusion. I'm glad you mentioned Kara jumping away in Kobol's Last Gleaming 1 because, for all the praise that part 2's ending (rightly) gets, the end to part 1 as Kara calls Adama out for lying and then jumps away, is almost as emotionally resonating as seeing his bloody body lying in CIC.

As for this, when you view parts 1 and 2 as a single entity, I would rate the whole a perfect score. But, you can't really do that since this aired as a single hour of TV. In that case, I agree with your score. It's just sort of lacking a spark and an emotional hook that other part one's (such as the ones you mentioned, as well as Act of Contrition) had in spades.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, May 28, 2020, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: The Hand of God

On my third or four rewatch and I think this is my second favorite episode of the season, after Kobols Last Gleaming 2.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for a great soundtrack. This episode had the best music so far, especially with Adama's Theme.
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Matt B
Sun, May 24, 2020, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

@Peter G the massive problem with your analysis is it continues to ignore Fajo's thought process and power. Fajo has already made it clear he will not listen to Data's demands, because Fajo does not believe there is a threat (that Data will actual shoot). Sure, a "normal" person would do things to avoid being shot, because they don't want to be shot and believe very much that they will. Fajo is mad, and he believes there is no chance Data will shoot him. AND he knows that Data can't touch him, due to the shield. In fact, Fajo could run at Data and knock him over with the shield.

So what are Data's options? Fajo won't follow any demands Data has. He simply won't. So Data can either shoot Fajo, or put down the disruptor and submit. There is no third option. If Data puts down the disruptor, either he resists and gets people killed (not a good solution) or he doesn't resist and accepts slavery (not a good solution either). Killing Fajo prevents any more deaths and any more injustice.

Data truly only had one option, logically. "I cannot allow this to continue." That means both for him and others.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, May 14, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

The Hirogen dont have holo tech but they have the means to create little neural thingies that make you think you are a holo character.

Mkay
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Matthew
Tue, May 12, 2020, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ascent

For a “Type Y” (IIRC) planet, this one is pretty nice. Breathable atmosphere, plenty of deciduous and evergreen vegetation, water in liquid state. Kind of makes you wonder where cutoff for Class M lies.
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Matt B
Sat, May 9, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground

This wasn't the greatest episode, but was a bit engrossing. The terrorism angle was handled well - no preaching but not afraid to discuss both sides.

BUT the one thing nobody mentioned is that Picard was ready to initiate saucer separation when the terrorists came on board! He didn't execute it but interesting the writers didn't actual forget about that possibility.
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Matt B
Sat, May 9, 2020, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Sorry I think it was actually two episodes later (The High Ground) that it gets mentioned.
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Matt B
Sat, May 9, 2020, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Funny enough the very next episode Picard prepares for a saucer separation! They don't execute it but interesting that they do mention it.

I really enjoyed this episode. What a tension on what to do by the crew. What great actors on the Romulan side. And sorry, but Tomalak was an amazing Romulan. Sure we only saw him a little but, but Katulas' performance made him larger than life. Would have been great if they could have brought him back in a bigger role.

I thought Season 1 was okay, and Season 2 was good, but Season 3 really blew it out of the water.
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Matt
Fri, May 1, 2020, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

Thought this episode was excellent. Nogs story was very touching and I thought there was something wrong in the cave at first then they blew me off and I went with it so the end was a surprise. Great suspense and great character development. 3.5!
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Matt B
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I have to agree with Jammer, this is a 4 star episode. I lot of others have covered the great points, but I’ll just share mine:

- the acting is superb - especially John Anderson. His confession at the end was mind blowing and heart breaking and shocking all at the same time. And how Gates McFadden plays Beverly’s reaction - just amazing.
- the writing & script are on point. It was a slow burn, with only a little clues dropped through out. While there was some action (and the simultaneous phaser and torpedo fire was awesome) it was mostly just talking. But it was so engrossing.

Reading some of the comments here make me sad that people think that immortal & all-powerful = infallible. They are not. While Kevin has immense power, he lacks both will, perfect vision, and perfect decision making. I am sure he did what he thought was best at the time, but he couldn’t predict the future and how life forms would react. And he obviously has emotions, which can override logic. We all know people who are good people but do bad things when they are angry. I think his plot line makes perfect sense.

In the end, one of my top 3 episodes.
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Matthew Martin
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

best scenes of the episode were the ones that featured Picard and Seven, sitting next to each other, playing verbal chess. The single best scene this week came at the end, where the two ex-Borg share a moment of solidarity, both acknowledging that, after all these years, they both know a little part of them is still gone. Picard leaves Seven with a hopeful word, in true Picard fashion, telling her that they keep getting that little part of their humanity back, a piece at a time, every day.

Seven then beams back to the planet and murders the villain of the week.

Picard's still searching for his little missing piece of humanity; Seven seems to be chipping away at what's left of hers. That's great, great, great, stuff and I wish the whole show was that good. After episode one, I was left with the impression that this would be a return to Star Trek being a show that loved pondering ideas, debating morality, and resolving conflicts. Halfway through the first season and that feeling has yet to reappear except in little, fleeting, glimpses like we had with Seven/Picard.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Full Disclosure: I still really like Picard and am looking forward to seeing where this storyline goes.

That being said, I have an issue with something three episodes in...

Jean Luc Picard, as depicted in this version of the future, is sort of the last bastion of Gene Roddenberry's dream of an optimistic, peace-seeking future where everyone works together, where poverty is eradicated, and earth is a paradise of positivity. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine flirted with abandoning that dream but never went all the way; in fact it made a point to say Earth is still a paradise and that "it's easy to be a saint in paradise" but it's hard to live out in the interstellar frontier.

Now Picard is showing us a future where earth is bitter, xenophobic, and isolationist. Where people like Raffi live in the near-25th century equivalent of a single-wide, smoking the near-25th equivalent of mary jane, and resent Picard for living in his chateau in France. Meanwhile he's just trying to right the wrongs caused by someone else and can't get an inch of help from either the Federation or Starfleet because they've completely lost Gene's way and have become what the showrunners think Britain has become with Brexit and all that.

To be clear, I have no problem with Star Trek using the politics of the day as a storytelling motivator. In fact, I would encourage it.

Science-fiction is, by nature, allegorical. It's purpose is to teach us about what we are, what we're becoming, what we could be without making it obvious that we're being preached-to. Not all sci-fi is the same: Some is overt and cynical, creating environments that simply take the problems of today and turn them up to 11, beating us over the head with our own present sins.

Gene Roddenberry dreamed of a sci-fi show that dared to hope for the best.

He created Star Trek as a way to say "look how great things could be if we only just stopped fighting with each other." Yes there were still issues that needed addressing: In the days of the Original Series there was Vietnam, race relations, economic inequality; but how he dealt with those issues was two fold. On the one hand he made a point to remind us over and over in the show that earth had moved beyond those. At the same time he featured OTHER, ALIEN, BAD GUY species that still had those problems, allowing Kirk, Spock, and later Picard, etc, to lovingly (sometimes sternly) lecture on how stupid it is to be racist (Let This Be Your Last Battlefield), or to send people to death fighting a pointless war (A Taste of Armageddon), or to assume the worst in someone simply out of habit (Day of the Dove).

The key is that earth/humanity (a united humanity, mind you) moved past those things and the drama came from other alien species that hadn't.

Picard (and Discovery) has either forgotten that, or has decided it's maybe too much work, or requires too much of a writing-commitment, or is just too subtle for the dumbed-down audience they hope to attract, to tell those stories.

And that makes me sad.

I said after last week's episode that I was okay with Starfleet being a bunch of isolationist jerks, provided, in the end, they admit their fault and revert back to how they should be (how Gene envisioned them to be). We're not talking about changing the color of the uniforms here; we're talking about something that is foundational to Star Trek itself. Without an optimistic, peaceful earth, it's not Star Trek at all.

Picard's third episode takes the old hero back to the stars. What comes next we'll find out in the weeks that follow. He's searching for a synthetic...I hope he finds the the optimism and hope for the future that everyone around him lost over the years.
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Matthew Burns
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"what happens if Sir Patrick Stewart dies? He's getting pretty old. It looks to me like he's really deteriorating"

Really deteriorating is not really an appropriate suggestion to make considering, like you say, he's 79. He's not going to be action Picard from the 90's now, of course not.
He's in fantastic condition compared to the average 79 year old!
Actors die irrespective of age and chances are Stewart will be fine, but there are no certainties for any of us and you cross that bridge, if, god forbid, you have too. The show would go on regardless!
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Matthew Burns
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

It's great to see Brent Spiner back to help launch the series, and even if it's true that he will not appear again in the series in Season 1 at least, it's a lovely couple of scenes and I for one think they did a fantastic job of de-aging Spiner as best they could without going to far to make it look too jarring.

The Romulan attack scenes were the least interesting to me to be honest, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Hopefully the show goes from strength to strength going forward.
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Matt
Thu, Nov 21, 2019, 5:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

Up until this episode, I was relieved that the lack of shields in this series prevented us from hearing that overused ‘shields at’ (some number that decreases with each shot) ‘percent!’ that made every attack on Enterprise seem the same.

But now they started giving updates as ‘hull plating at (some) percent!’... sigh.
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Matt
Thu, Nov 21, 2019, 2:44am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Breach

I disagree with Jammer’s choice for the quote to use for this episode. I would’ve gone with:

‘My speleothems!’...’Fortunately I have some other samples in my case’
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Matt
Thu, Oct 24, 2019, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Janeway mentioned 'section 31' when she and The Doctor were trying to get to environmental controls. Wonder if that was deliberate- had they appeared in DS9 by this point?
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Matthew
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

Two things that make me laugh/eye roll in this episode:

1. Picard and Troi practicing the speech in the beginning. I’m *pretty* sure that insecticide aliens from far beyond the moon don’t write their language in the Roman alphabet, so what’s up with the goofy pronunciation drilling? Picard’s script should just be written out phonetically. But then, oh shoot, there goes the dramatic reason that Picard needs to de-stress in the holodeck.

2. Crusher imitating the dames on the holodeck with the powder compact, acting like she’s never put makeup on before. Meanwhile her own cheekbones are contoured til the spacecows come home.
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Matt
Fri, Oct 4, 2019, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Haunting of Deck Twelve

I found it odd partway through when Neelix was telling a story of when Neelix was telling Tuvox a story.
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Matt
Mon, Sep 30, 2019, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

At least Seven got some good lines this episode.

I liked:

“Fun will now commence” (though I’m not sure if it’s the first time that was used)

and

“Resume your disorder”
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Matt
Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

Am I the only one that had a problem with Naomi on the mission? Why on earth would her parent, or any responsible starship captain allow a child on a mission like that? Especially with how often the Voyager shuttle missions go awry!
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Matt
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 2:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Riddles

But there are only 52 Sundays in the calendar. They would not be enough to keep the crewman well fed for a year. Sorry, Tuvok, Neelix wins.
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Matt Boehland
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 12:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Alice

Yet another time there’s an unauthorized shuttle launch that they can’t stop or are too late to prevent.

That should be #2 on their list of things that need fixing or additional precautions/procedures for (after the holodeck and its myriad of problems)
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Matte Blk
Fri, Jul 12, 2019, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

May the Force be witchoo, young Skywakka.
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