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MikeyZ
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 4:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

Good Lord above, what a frikken SNOOZE-FEST!!!!!

The mouthy and precocious yet emotionally vulnerable kid (now THERE's a trope that's never EVER been featured on a television show, amirite!) is a juvenile version of Neelix, who is a juvenile version of...himself.

Someone may have died but, I guess, didn't (I don't know because even having this on as background noise was too irritating so I stopped the whole thing and just scanned through the comments here instead), and a bunch of people I never heard of and don't care about lived happily ever after. Or at least until the writers again run out of sci-fi ideas and decide to parachute them into the show. Okay. Whatevz. The end.
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MikeyZ
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

This is one of not-too-many episodes that stayed etched in my mind all these years since I first saw Voyager two-plus decades ago. I loved the Starfleet Academy recreation and the entire premiss of the show.

What I really, truly loathed, and well rehashed by previous commenters, is the ludicrous denouement. Sit down with your sworn adversary and love-bomb them with some wry and witty repartee for five minutes, and presto, you're 9/10 of the way to lasting peace. If only someone would tell the Israelis and Palestinians... Hummus, not Hamas! Oy gevalt!

Not only is the idea that bitter, bloody conflicts are just misunderstandings and suspicion absurd, but this episode managed to emasculate and eviscerate species 4872. That was a really cool race, with many potential story arcs calling for immersive and entertaining sci-fi action... - but now they, too, have joined the kumbaya Oprah collective.

I guess the big bad polluters, the Malon, are now the closest to anything approaching a worthy opponent we'll have. Cosmic warming? Delta climate change? Who on Voyager is going to take the mantle of St. Greta? Ugh.
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MikeyZ
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

Interesting how my perspective on Torres' introspection changed since a decade ago. Back then I found it to be extraneous, soporific fluff. A heartbreaking divorce that brought me to the brink of ending it all since, I sympathized with her emptiness and angst. I just wish a two-minute pep-talk from a superior officer was all it took to "snap out of it" and reestablish oneself, one's self-confidence, one's self-worth, one's raison d'etre...

A very interesting episode, which certainly spoke to me. THe sci-fi component was good also.
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MikeyZ
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

This was pretty good though not quite 4 stars.

I wish I could have found the "You will adapt" line as moving as many commenters did but I can't. I just never formed any kind of an emotional bond with the characters, such that their personal triumphs and tribulations would leave me anything other than nonplussed.

If a similar kind of a line would have been delivered in a similar context on Battlestar Galactica or Babylon 5, it would've had me bawling. That's Voyager's single greatest failure.
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MikeyZ
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

The second the scene changed to the bridge and the camera started panning around, I immediately said to myself: This is Harry "Can't-Get-A-Lock-On-Anything" Kim blowing some wood...

...den instrument" :D And sure enough, it bore out! LOL!

The holodeck that retains the objects even though all energy is gone from the ship? The stupidest thing ever, surpassed only by the whole Bride of Bullshitica C-story.

The preachy P.C. theme rubbed me all the wrong ways but okay, I could look past it. I also really appreciated the Tuvok-Chakotay angle. They had hardly any interaction over the four previous seasons and it was interesting to see that dynamic play out, even if only very briefly.

At least a three-star-er.
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MikeyZ
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

I liked this one a lot, enough for 3 to 3-1/2 stars.

I, again, don't care about the plot holes, deus ex machinas, inconsistencies, total lack of logic, suspension of disbelief in the extreme, etc. What jerks MY chicken is this pussified approach of never firing first and never shooting to kill. Sometimes you DO shoot first and ask questions later. Having a clearly sketchy alien, with dangerous technology literally at his fingertips, attacking your security team and struggling with them is surely one such instance.

But, then, that would've deprived us of the second half of the episode, the quantum-speed chase, and Lameway and Hooters-of-Nine's bonding moment.

Still, not too shabby an ep!
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MikeyZ
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 6:37am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

Lameway does need to get laid, no question about it. Someone, something, anything. Pronto.

This was a very nice episode. I really enjoyed it and not just because of the endless shots of Hooters of Nine's attributes. The idea was interesting, and the Doctor and 7/9 performed very well.

As for the plot holes and jumping the shark, I would've thought we'd have long ago learned what to expect from Voyager. Forget consistency, logic, continuity, etc. Give me enough science, enough fiction, enough dynamic storytelling, not much talkie-talkie, and I'm golden. This one did just that.
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MikeyZ
Wed, Aug 19, 2020, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

My goodness, this was a fantastic episode. So many timeless lessons to learned there, directly applicable to our world; plus the science plus the fiction. Exquisite.

The ending was far too sanguine. I don't see humanity ever uniting. We will always find ways to divide ourselves regardless of all the terrible upheavals such divisions lead to, and with division comes a power dynamic, which is also an inescapable element of the material world. Just as two atoms compete for dominance, so do two civilizations. "There is nothing new under the sun."
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MikeyZ
Wed, Aug 19, 2020, 6:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Vis A Vis

@Patrick
No way would that be rape. All that is required for sex to be consensual is the ability to express consent and to indeed consent. There is (as yet!) no requirement that the partners furnish their resumes to one another and provide satisfactory references.

As for the episode, yes, dozens of risible plot holes but more than watchable and has some funny moments.
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MikeyZ
Wed, Aug 19, 2020, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

On a rewatch, two decades later, this ain't half as bad as I remember it.

The whole thing is certainly beyond ridiculous for too many reasons to count. But it's a neat little story with an interesting underlying idea and with enough dynamism and sci-fi action to not make me hit that fast-forward button. That's a success in its own right!

Of course, the entire holodeck thing is absurd. By the 24th century it's fully expected that technology will enable us to manipulate the human neural interface in such ways as to provide a fully realistic artificial-reality experience or, put simply, stimulate the brain to experience a make-believe world like on a holodeck. Unlike using the holodeck, simply stimulating the brain to see, hear, touch, smell, etc. pre-programmed environments would be far more cost-effective and less resource-intensive. But, then, it wouldn't allow for all these silly contrived stories that lazy Star Trek writers have been coming up with throughout the franchise...
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MikeyZ
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 10:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I am shocked and deeply saddened by some of the comments here.

He "may have been guilty" = he was innocent.
He "seemed guilty" = he was innocent.
He "looked the type" = he was innocent.
His "story was fishy" = he was innocent.
He was "not proven innocent" = he was innocent.

Innocence does NOT need to be proven.
GUILT needs to be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt.

That applies to everything, from a parking violation to multiple homicide in the first degree. And yes, to rape and others violations of the person also.

That this is even questions fills me with despair. I'm not absolutist about many things in life, but this IS one of the few things where it's truly black or white. If you impugn the presumption of innocence, whatever your rationalization, then you overthrow the very linchpins of our civilization: A society whose criminal justice system is based on arbitrariness and caprice is an anarcho-tyranny. With it, we may as well throw all our achievements down the can.
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MikeyZ
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

Aight, NOW we've got a show! Cooking with gas on this one!

Hooters of Nine's exchange with Lameway at the end is applicable to many situations, not least the latter-day imposition of political correctness on our society, where "diversity" is encouraged so long as it's diversity of everything except opinion. Beyond that though, the entire episode was well made; others have ably enumerated its strengths.

I'll just add that any show that stokes controversy and pushes the envelope, provoking disagreements and discussion, is well done. Difficult moral questions, no simple answers, blurred lines... Gosh, why was it that only one out of every ten Voyager episodes was like this!?
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MikeyZ
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 5:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

I liked this one a lot.

An interesting premiss, enough science, enough fiction, some light relief, not too much pointless talkie-talkie between characters no-one cares about.
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MikeyZ
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 3:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

As the very comment above says, this episode started off on a very promising note. Neelix snuffed it. Oh no. How sad. Champagne for everybody!

Then they revived him, 18 hours later... - because neurons don't degrade or anything. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

In fairness, yes, the premise is very, very interesting. Unfortunately, the Neelix character is so unlikable (or at least polarizing) that getting past that antipathy in order to engage with this story arc borders on the impossible. Come to think of it, I don't know if any main character could've pulled it off. They're all too one-dimensional and forgettable (other than Tuvok and the Doctor) that, honestly, you could bump off any of them and they'd not be missed in the subsequent episodes. Maybe Lameway or Paris or even Harry "Can't-Get-A-Lock-On-Anything" Kim could've done it and it would've served to add a dimension to their character (so they'd be 2D rather than 1D) but too late now, I guess.

Anyway, I skipped the episode when the Big Oaf Chakotay started his buffalo mind-trip.

This is the kind of a story that would've worked fantastically in Battlestar Galactica. Now THAT show knew how to develop characters that were complex and interesting, and that the viewer actually cared about and wanted to know more about.
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MikeyZ
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

Rewatching this after a good decade, which itself was a rewatch more than a decade after the show aired. 20+ years later, I still loathe this episode as much as I did back then, having just turned 18.

This episode could easily have been less than half as long without losing anything at all. The Da Vinci guy--who, judging by his diction and enunciation, is a theater actor--was boring, improbable, implausible, extraneous in the extreme. "He" added nothing to the plot; if anything, he slowed down the action to a frustrating halt at critical moments. Thank gods for the fast-forward button.

What is really interesting though is that the commenters above show a split. Some hated the episode, some found it barely watchable, but some were rapt about it. That's quite a success and a hallmark of good writers: stimulate a discussion and promote controversy. Something tells me that was a chance byproduct though rather than done by design.
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