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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Jammer.

We need to talk about "For The Cause."

Post-9/11, the anti-American sentiment of ... let's say, 'other nations', has become quite evident.

This is the episode in which it's revealed that Eddington has been working for the Maquis all along. You are selling it short. For someone who is re-watching DS9 after having watched it in the first run, now in 2020... This is all powerful stuff. Certainly more compelling in retrospect than the fluff which Discovery and Picard have provided us with.

Perhaps nostalgia glasses are blurring my view of what this might have been regarded as in the first run of the series. But looking back, I wish I had had a better understanding of what I was watching as a teenager.

This is good stuff, and certainly may have fallen on deaf ears back in the day.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jun 27, 2020, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I was talking w my Dad today, about how the best Trek episodes from TOS tended to be written by Science Fiction authors.

It occurred to me as well that the moment Michael Piller took over TNG from an ailing Gene Roddenberry, the first thing he did was open up script submissions to whoever in Hollywood at the time thought they might have a script (TNG was close to the start of principal photography for Season 3, and they had almost NO scripts).

... I kind of wish Alex Kurtzman would put down the pen... Why is it that everything he does on Trek (I'm unfamiliar with his other work) tends to have 40 bajillion 'exectutive consultants' credited?

I'm guessing it's because what he wanted to write sucked hard swollen Targ balls, and if I think he's a Denebian Slime Devil... well, that's my opinion, too, hahahahahaha... ;)
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jun 26, 2020, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

"Mr. Garak, I would like it if we could have breakfast sometime."

"Why, Constable. I was under the impression that you didn't eat."

"... I don't."
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

...This episode is missing its final scene.

Odo takes the Jem'Hadar with him to 'go back to his people' in the runabout... then cut to Everything Is Back To Normal and Odo showing up to tell Kira she was right?

:| It would have been a lot better of an episode but I guess they ran out of money to film the last scenes. Oopsie doopsie.

2/4 stars.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Equilibrium

Harve Bennett said in "Star Trek Movie Memories" that when he went to binge the Original Series prior to making Star Trek II, he said the episodes were 1/3 really good, 1/3 just ok, and 1/3 "ugh," and by "ugh," he specifically meant "very very bad."

Ugh.

May as well say it up front: this one is a budget-buster. More than half the main cast is relegated to only the opening game, and after the strangely-already-repaired Defiant's trip to Trill (I guess the Dominion sent over a text saying "We're doing the Great Link thing today, say hi to Odo, no attacks rn, smell ya later"), we get Siddig, Brooks and Farrell talking their way through 3/4 of an episode with almost no lines from any of the other actors (who also aren't very good). Were they paying these people by the line? :| Ugh.

There's very little here in the way of drama or excitement other than the impending doom of Jadzia Dax, who seems to take it all in with all the emotional depth of a steel wool scouring pad. Farrell got better at the role as time went on, but this ep falls squarely in the 'still finding her feet' section. There's just not much that happens here; the biggest action sequences are the hallucinations Jadzia is having, and they have that unforunate implication that all 'dream sequences' in shows have, where they end and it's like "Oh, it was all a dream." Ugh. Ugh.

In the sum of it, it becomes a locked door mystery, with the reveal being that after Jadzia's host before Curzon died, his symbiont was stolen by a music-writing coo-coo whose name I've already forgotten. The actor who plays him has like 4 lines. The only guest actor who says much of anything is Doctor ObsructiveBearocrat who gives a big bs sob story about how there aren't enough symbionts to go around on Trill so they have to lie to their people and tell them only 0.1% of them are 'suitable.'

Is this something to do with the college admissions process or something? Why did they write this? What's the commentary? What's the drama? I don't want Jadzia to die either but the stakes seem remarkably low and anticlimactic.

Then when Sisko basically blackmails Doctor O.B. into compliance (woohoo, what a hero), she presses two buttons, wakes Jadzia up (who doesn't so much as complain of being hungry despite being near rejection/death), and the solution turns out to be her taking off a robe to reveal another robe (boy that writer's room must've been really hard up) and taking a dip in a magic pool full of Symbionts, one of which is neighborly enough to zap her into remembering Music Man, who then hugs her and pushes the magic reset button.

Except now Jadzia can play the piano.

... Ugh.

0.5 Stars out of 4. This one sucked.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, May 27, 2020, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

[(Being a Trekkie in this day and age is beginning to look like way too much trouble for my taste...)]

I would agree, but probably not for the reason you're experiencing, which if I'm gathering from your post correctly, is that the quality of the shows has declined?

For me, being a Trekkie in this day and age is beginning to look like way too much trouble for my taste, because I actually have found stuff to enjoy about the last few outings (NuTrek, Disco, Pickerd), and came to Jammers Reviews to converse with people about them...

Only to be vigorously slapped down for "not having any real knowledge of cinema" simply because I don't mind if a show doesn't cure my lymphoma as long as it keeps me occupied for a while and gives me something to look forward to at the end of my week.

DISCLAIMER: NO I DO NOT ACTUALLY HAVE LYMPHOMA I'M JUST BEING SARCASTIC SORRY IF YOU HAVE IT FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OK, YOU CAN DO IT

... I said it when I first got here, and I'll say it again, and probably continue saying it ad infinitum and change no one's mind, but

***It's a SONG, ya green-blooded... Vulcan!! The words aren't important, what's important is that you have a good time singing!!***

I feel like the biggest and most critical voices on this very comment board are unchanged from when I got here back when STID was out, and that nothing but nothing will ever be good enough for these people.

Admit it. You just enjoy trashing the shows you like to watch, and you're going into every viewing with a giant chip on your shoulder. I calls em like I sees em.
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Midshipman Norris
Fri, May 15, 2020, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

You all were so busy being pissed off that you didn't see that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has been announced.

A Star Trek Show, about the Enterprise, under Captain Pike!

"Number One, Spock and Pike!
Sounds great, what's not to like?"

... Of course, I'm sure you guys will find things not to like. Maybe besides each other's comments, even.

I get it though, if you weren't pissed off you'd have nothing to type angry screeds about...
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PM
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 3:34am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

Love that this episode makes Q out as a being who really was rooting for and trying to help humanity (albeit in a "lovable a-hole" sorta way) in that it introduces into canon the fact that it was THIS encounter (a self-fulfilling prophecy brought about during the Borg's seemingly-random attack on Earth almost a decade after their first Earth attack following the Battle of Wolf 359) - and NOT the events of the TNG Season 2 ep "Q Who" - that first alerted the Borg to the existence of (and red-flagging-for-assimilation of) humanity.
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PM
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

This review added greatly to my enjoyment of this already-enjoyable episode.

While there's a lot of good sci fi (and some bad) in this series filled with old beloved characters and some decent new ones, the notion of this essentially being the sad, inspiring and ultimately hopeful story of a man saying a 20-year-overdue proper goodbye to his dear friend is truly a study in "charting the unknown possibilities of existance"

See you out there...
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

JB said:

"Drama is just for entertainment? If so, then what the hell are any of us doing here discussing Star Trek? There are hundreds, thousands of more entertaining pieces of drama available on TV alone."

Un - I didn't say that drama was just for entertainment. I said dramatic presentations are a form of entertainment.

Deux - There are thousands of more entertaining pieces of drama available on TV, in your opinion. I don't agree with you.

Trois - Vous semblez être un maître de placer l'appât sur un hameçon. ;)
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Apr 5, 2020, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Booming said:

"This debate would require an actual computer scientist to remain meaningful."

Then, from what I can gather of the Negative Energy Ion Storm which followed, someone decided they were going to try to conquer the Internet because of this comment.

I almost never agree with you, Booming. But you are entitled to your opinion as anyone else is, and to me, this sounds like you were trying to say you didn't want to continue having the debate, unless I'm wrong. When someone says they don't wanna talk about it, a person has to be pretty dense to continue talking about it ad infinitum.

There is plenty of garbage going on in the world stressing everyone out. I think it would be just friggin' classic if people would put on their nice faces while we are all going through said garbage.

In summary, what it Star Trek? A series of dramatic presentations.

What are dramatic presentations? A form of entertainment.

What is the purpose of entertainment? To have a good time.

What is the Comment Section of Jammer's Reviews? Another form of entertainment.

What is the purpose of entertainment? To have a good time.

I think that this is an important point... When I was a kid and used to scream obscenities at my NES, my Dad would say "If you're not having a good time, why don't you shut it off?"

Food for thought. Surely we as Trekkies can be a bit more civilized with each other than the drooling, mouth-breathing fanbases of less intellectual works, n'est-ce pas?
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PM
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 1:04am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Watching this episode was the first thing in 2 weeks that made me feel like things are going to be ok.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

GET AWAY FROM THAT LAUNCHER

...

1. Narek failed as a Zhat Vash. This was the big giant detail they saved till the last second.

2. Picard is now a (basically human, with a human lifespan and abilities) android. No further comment.

3. Seven of Nine is now a regular in this series. Sold.

4. I really REALLY like that Riker and the Romulans were able to reach a solution that did not involve blowing each other the f*** up. Thank you writers!

5, AND YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION HERE...

DATA GOT A FUNERAL. This was the turning point, in Nemesis, if you remember. Data was offed to save Picard and the ensuing scenes felt hollow and stupid. This now allows me to watch Nemesis again and feel like it went somewhere. By this episode's treatment of Data's consciousness being terminated by Picard, it validates the character in ways that Nemesis didn't give a F*** about! It REPAIRED DAMAGE to the Star Trek Canon! Can you argue with that, Jammer's Reviews Commenters?

I loved it all. I loved it. Also, die Narissa. For Hugh. YEAAHHHHHHHHHHH
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PM
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@wolfstar that episode is 15/5
I'll pay real money to see that
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PM
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I have to wait until Picard episodes air on TV so no midnight viewing for me.

The flip side of that is we get Short Treks as well.

For those who don't have access to the (I feel) largely-enjoyable Short Treks between seasons of Picard and Discovery, I thought I'd throw together this quick & dirty summary, complete with brief reviews:


BETWEEN 'DISCOVERY' SEASON 1 & 2

"Runaway" 
3/4 stars
October 4, 2018
After a frustrating discussion with her mother, Sylvia Tilly encounters a young stowaway from the planet Xahea named Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po ("Po" for short, Tilly decides.) Tilly, who is accustomed to taking orders from others, decides to make decisions by herself, to help Po return home. Though brilliant, Po is reluctant to take-on a new responsibility. Eventually, Tilly convinces Po she was destined for greatness (in the final scene, we find out that Po is the about-to-be Queen of Xahea) and - along the way - Tilly finds a little more of her own backbone.

"Calypso" 
4/4 stars
November 8, 2018
After holding position in space for a thousand years, Discovery's computer system has become sentient. The system (which calls itself "Zora") retrieves a passing escape pod carrying a man named Craft. Zora keeps Craft aboard the ship and begins to fall in love with him, but eventually lets him take Discovery's last shuttle to return to his family on Alcor IV. Beautiful. Heartbrraking. Uplifting. Deeply satisfying.

"The Brightest Star" 
3/4 stars
December 6, 2018
On the planet Kaminar, Saru wants to learn about life outside the pre-warp society of his village, where his people are harvested as food by the predatory Ba'ul. Saru is able to send a distress signal into space that is answered by "Lieutenant" Philippa Georgiou, who takes Saru to join Starfleet.

"The Escape Artist" 3.5/4
January 3, 2019
Harry Mudd is captured by a bounty hunter and taken to a Federation ship. On the ship, though, the hunter finds multiple other versions of Mudd already detained. Elsewhere, the real Mudd continues to create android copies of himself so he can continue to evade the authorities. (Mwahahahaha)


BETWEEN 'DISCOVERY' SEASON 2 & 3

"Q&A" 
3.5/4 stars
October 5, 2019
On his first day aboard the Enterprise, 'Ensign' Spock and his new superior officer (Number One) get trapped in a malfunctioning turbolift. While waiting for the turbolift to be repaired, Spock asks Number One numerous questions, and the pair bond over their similarities. It's like Macaulay Culkin's grilling of John Candy in 'Uncle Buck', except in space, and not a comedy...or IS it?? Well-played, Una (Number One's first name, we get to find out.) A quick, joyful romp through the genesis of Spock's time on the most famous of starships, with tons of canon-building along the way. "Keep your freaky inside for no one to see, Spock", she counsels. A triumph of world-building, all in under 10 minutes.

"The Trouble with Edward" 
3/4 stars
October 10, 2019
On the USS Cabot, science officer Edward Larkin tries to solve a planet's food shortage by genetically modifying tribbles against his Captain's orders, creating a species that is 'born pregnant' and reproduces at a dangerous rate. Eventually, the Cabot is overrun, and Larkin dies in a hail of screaming insistence that no one listens to him, as a tidal-wave of tribbles wash him away and the remainder of the crew escapes. This is an almost-completely-successful attempt at comedy, with a lot of the deadpan eyebrow-raises over Edward's horrific tactics (he ate a few of the tribbles to make sure they were a good food source) played for laughs and shock-value. The final line, when Cabot's newly-minted captain is asked during an inquiry about what went wrong?: "He's an idiot."

"Ask Not" 
3.5/4 stars
November 14, 2019
When Starbase 28 is attacked, Cadet Thira Sidhu is given care of a mutinous prisoner: Captain Christopher Pike of the Enterprise. Pike attempts to pressure Sidhu into releasing him, but she refuses. As tensions look like they've made it a notch or two past the breaking point, Pike reveals that this is a simulated test, and by passing it, Sidhu is accepted as a part of the Enterprise crew. Even for Short Treks, this is probably the simplest Star Trek story ever told: Taking place in a single room over 7 minutes, it's an interesting study in duty and what it takes to become the best of the best. This (and two much shorter cameos by Anson Mount) may possibly be the closest we ever get to a Captain Pike spinoff series.

"Ephraim and Dot" 
4/4 stars
December 12, 2019
A tardigrade (Ephraim) looking for a place to lay her eggs crosses paths with the Enterprise and is attacked by a repair drone named Dot. This is perhaps the greatest love-letter to Star Trek ever put to screen. There is more fan-service here in one short than in an entire Star Trek series. We've seen these nearly-indestructable beings power Discovery's spore drive - But here, young Ephraim witnesses the entire history of 1701, as she struggles through the ship and through warp space, whizzing past glowing green hands, space Lincolns, Khan (both times), sword-fighting Sulu, battle with the U.S.S. Reliant, and the final showdown with a Klingon Bird of Prey over the Genesis Planet. When the Enterprise self-destructs over said planet, Dot helps save Ephraim's eggs. When the eggs hatch, the pair travel away with the baby tardigrades together. Yay! (I actually said this at the end of this little gem. What a freaking joy. I think the running length was about 30 seconds...just kidding but it feels like it)

"The Girl Who Made the Stars" 
2.5/4 stars
December 12, 2019
Young Michael Burnham's father eases her fear of the dark by telling her a story about a young African girl. In the story, the girl's people fear the dark because of a predatory Night Beast, but she braves the night and discovers an alien that gifts her new light. The girl uses this to create the stars, and grows up to be a warrior queen. As cool as this sounds, I found this just OK. I felt like I was supposed to like it and I really wanted to love the 'girl-power-in-space' message and the innovative concept, as a short aimed at adults, it was just a bit corny. If aimed at kids, I'd give this a solid 3/4.

"Children of Mars" 
4/4 stars
January 9, 2020
Two schoolgirls on Earth develop a fierce rivalry after one gets on the other's nerves, eventually developing into a full-on blood-gushing-out-of-noses brawl. Suddenly, through, they are both drawn together by tragedy when they see news of Mars and its orbital facilities (at which both girls have family working) attacked by rogue 'synthetics'. During the news footage, an image of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard appears, with the network reporting that Picard condemns the attack as "devastating." This is probably the most anticipated Short Trek, as it was a direct tie-in to the series-premiere of Star Trek: Picard. It's also one of the most creative ways to tell a story ever to take place in the Star Trek universe, really unlike anything we've ever seen before in it. In it's own minimalist, simple way, is this the crowning achievement of these shorts (so far)? Make it so.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@ Captain Jon

[DS9 was consistently great but had its fair share of clunkers as well (I'm looking at you, "Let He Who Is Without Sin...")]

The one I always think of is "Move Along Home," if only for the ridiculous "Allemarane" scene. Avery Brooks singing like a small girl nearly put me off DS9 completely. Thankfully it started to pick up fairly well afterward, but that was headache-inducingly dumb to watch.

Also, I wanted to bring this up; Picard is talking to Admiral Clancy through holo-viewscreen in a holographic version of his study back at Chateau Picard.

... I am wondering if the Head of Starfleet Security is at all unaware of the communication that is happening here. We've already been shown that Clancy and Oh know each other and have spoken...

I'm asking myself if that even was Admiral Clancy, and thinking of that scene in Terminator 2:

T-800 (covers mouthpiece of pay phone): "Whats the dog's name?"

John Connor: "Max."

T-800 (simulating John Connor's voice): "Hey Janelle, how's Wolfie? I can hear him barking."

Janelle (?): "Wolfie's fine, dear. Wolfie's just fine. ... Where are you?"

T-800 (hangs up): "Your foster parents are dead."
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

"As far the arrogance thing goes, Riker was calling Picard arrogant in the context of not being ready to deal with a teenager. "

Actually, that's not why. That's why Troi said he had the shove coming from Soji.

Riker, as I said, was calling Picard arrogant because Picard did not CALL him or any of the former officers of the Enterprise first. And besides, this is Riker's opinion. There are probably other opinions of other people in this universe.

That said, the pacing of this show so far has demanded that a lot be packed into a very small space of dialogue. They're telling an ongoing story in hourlong bites, and the commercial breaks are not always spaced at regular intervals, I've noticed, which is the most annoying thing about this whole CBS all-access business for me.

I watched "Pen Pals" last night on a whim. There are extremely long periods during the episode where people are just talking about what's happening, and moments of silence where someone is thinking. We're not really getting that here, because they're packing a whole lot more storytelling into a much smaller space with each episode.

Consider that in ST:TNG, episodes tended to focus on only one character, and possibly a guest star that they are interacting with. Typically it was either Picard or Data, though the Worf episodes tended to be quite good ("Sins of the Father," "Redemption Parts I+II"), and the Crusher episodes quite bad ("Remember Me," "Suspicions," and famously "Sub Rosa"). Troi episodes could be very iffy as well ("Night Terrors" and "Dark Page" are semi-ok, but "Man of the People" and "The Price" have totally unlikable love interests for her that go nowhere, and a lot of the Troi episodes are like this, unfortunately). Geordi episodes are iffy less often, due to Levar Burton being top-shelf in the acting department ("The Mind's Eye" was excellent, and so was "The Enemy," however, "Aquiel" and "Identity Crisis" bordered on utter stupidity). Out of respect for what Wil Wheaton went through making this show, I have stopped making fun of Wesley Crusher as a character, no matter how much the scripts deserve it.

Then there were episodes that tended to focus on either the entire crew reacting to the problems caused by a guest character (protagonist or antagonist) and the episodes where the crew is broken up into smaller groups, and vignettes are strung together detailing how they handle things. Think "The Arsenal of Freedom," "The Hunted," or "Disaster" or "Cause and Effect." These episodes tended to be also very economical with dialogue, as they had to get scenes in for a lot of different characters and not use up too much time for any one character, while still relating the general plot going on, often quite a complex sci-fi setup.

The new Serialized nature of this show basically makes it a giant ensemble piece, without having the time to really have those long, drawn out discussions about the philosophical implications of the decisions before the characters. There is an immediate threat going on, and something's gotta be done about it or there could be serious stuff hitting the sonic showerhead, as it were.

It causes the show to take this sort of 'breaking up' of the focus to extremes, to the point where there is so little time for dialogue about what the characters are thinking, that it can come off as too fast-paced in scenes like Nepenthe has, where they are supposed to be exploring the motivations and ideas which the characters possess.

Just so anyone who thinks I'm being a Pollyanna Pain-in-the-ass about liking this show so much has something they can read and see that I am not above criticizing it, and it is not above criticism for sure. After all, nothing is.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 12:03am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

"Arrogance" is a very relative term, honestly. It's kind of binary (you either are or you aren't), but it also has a lot of room for subjectivity. An action in one context (saying "Yeah, sure, it's all a plot, I wouldn't trust any of this" spoken to Riker, whom Picard was just talking to) could be considered measured, and in another context, quite arrogant (spoken to who it was spoken to, Soji, who is having a quiet meltdown).

Riker calls him 'arrogant' because he thinks he can handle this entire situation all on his own. It's likely that Riker has long thought this about Picard, but being the consummate officer he is, he did not begin to express that he thought this about him, until WELL AFTER he was no longer under his command. That's kind of the gist of "Nepenthe" in the first place, is that Riker and Troi don't report to Picard anymore. Like that Archer meme, "You're not my supervisor!"

The ranks were officially dropped the moment Picard resigned, and while Riker and Troi will likely never view Jean-Luc Picard as a true equal, they also are a lot more free to voice their opinions to him now, being that they don't have any career repercussions to worry about for not watching how they talk.

I'd also like to be the first to point out that Picard and Riker are over there getting wasted af during the time Kestra/Soji are talking, then going to the garden, and talking with Troi. Wine makes you be a huge jerk to people at times. Just ask my girlfriend. :V

But coming back around to the main point, Picard is viewed by certain people as being far too overconfident and yes, arrogant, at times. So am I. So are 90% of the posters on this very comment board. Arrogance is an unescapable human quality, but Riker isn't talking about just any old run-of-the-mill arrogance; he describes it as "Classic Picard Arrogance," in that this special type of arrogance makes him think that he can handle everything all by himself, and doesn't ever *need* anyone's help.

Picard said in Episode 3 (was it?) during his conversation with Laris and Zhabon that he didn't want to call the Enterprise-D senior staff members, his oldest friends, because he didn't want to put them in danger. Riker has a different perspective, likely because he is upset with Picard for *not* calling him first.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Mar 8, 2020, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Every episode of the entirety of the series (as in all of Star Trek) has its admirers and detractors. The difference between these two groups is that detractors are much more likely to post on the internet because contentedness tends to produce complacency. If nothing is wrong with the thing, why bother saying anything?

"If the warp drive is online, don't realign the warp coils."

Hence, this is what I attribute the preponderance of negativity on the USS Jammer (and really the entirety of the internet, the media as a whole, and my workplace) to. People complain a lot more often than they express contentment. Contentment is usually a quietly felt thing.

If I am going to play Ardra's Advocate here, I feel like the show still has a bit of a way to go before I will accept that Star Trek is really at "full impulse" (Ok enough with the references, I'm sorry). At some point, the showrunners have to accept that they are dealing with longtime fans far more than they are going to be able to attract new ones.

...

... Don't do it Norris...

... You said you were gonna not do it... OHHHH FINE

"I'm sorry, Mr. Scott. There will be no refit. [...] Jim, the Enterprise is 20 years old. We feel her time is over."

Star Trek can only survive on the goodwill of it's die-hardest fans by this point. It has permutated itself into a plethora of different incarnations, and the only thing it really can fall back on is the fans who keep coming back, series after series, episode after episode. That's me, and that's whoever's reading this and saying "I'm still a Star Trek Fan." Whether you love it or hate it, if you stick around, you're still validating its presence, the moment you hit that link on cbs.com. The moment you comment on an episode. The moment you even mention it to another person who might ask.

There are so many frivolous things in this world. "Complaining about shows you don't watch," "Complaining about people not liking the show," "They changed it, now it sucks," and "It's popular, now it sucks" are some of them. I believe tvtropes.org classifies these all as either forms or at times examples of what it calls "Fan dumb," and while they can be reasons "Why the fandom can't have nice things," they also are part of the gestalt of how a show exists, in the first place.

Acceptance is key, really. I like this show, a lot more than I liked Discovery or Enterprise. I even like it more than I liked Voyager or DS9, to be honest. But that's just one fan's opinion. I'd rather talk about the episodes than say whether they were good or bad. They are there. I'm ok with that.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. :) "I'm a writer, not a critic."
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

A few different things to comment on here.

1. This is far and away the most TNG-like episode of this series so far. That scene of sitting around the dinner table, once Soji finally starts opening up about what she knows, plays like a meeting in the Enterprise-D's observation lounge.

2. Troi's character has a lot more going for it now than just "Will Riker is sooo dreamy, but that was yeeeears ago," or being the butt monkey of this week's violating alien presence. Poor Thaddeus.

3. As Picard and Soji leave, the look that Riker and Troi are giving each other screams to me "We're gonna have to find a babysitter." Seeing Riker Sherlock Holmes the entire story so far to Picard makes me think there is absolutely no way he's taking any of this lying down, and he is still enlisted on reserve duty, and might be able to pull a few bigger and longer strings than Raffi was.

4. All Riker and Troi have to tell Worf, Geordi and Dr. Crusher is "Data might be alive and/or recoverable" and there's no way any of the three would not jump out of whatever they happen to be doing. Worf would see it as a matter of honor to a former comrade-at-arms, Crusher would not let Picard go it alone, and Geordi was Data's best friggin' friend. The cat is officially out of the bag, and we all know what a horrible gossip Riker is. The fact that Picard was not comfortable around children remained a secret for precisely 0.67 seconds on the Enterprise-D.

5. Kestra's name is a reference to Dark Page, one of the better performances by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry as Lwaxana Troi, but as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry is unfortunately no longer with us, the dynamic between Troi and Picard is now altered slightly. Another example of how Troi's characterization has changed for the better, imo, as I always thought Lwaxana's episodes to be kind of eh.

6. This is more of a joke than anything, but is it any wonder that this is the best episode yet, and has Riker's Beard in it? Did Picard just 'grow the beard?'

7. Does anyone know what the thing that Agnes orders the replicator to make is, and why she would want to synthesize that specific substance? Is it made-up? I heard her order "N cc's of Technobabblonium" and the computer warned her "you know that can kill you right?" or something.

8. Hugh being killed sucks, but he isn't an appreciably different character from Seven of Nine at any rate, and Seven of Nine is a lot more prominent in the ST Fandom than Hugh. Beyond the Reclamation Project, I don't see how he could be an important character in this story, particularly, whatever nostalgia might be generated by his presence.

9. This would be the biggest point of all that I'd like to comment on; Narissa's line:

"This is not how a Zhat Vash fights a Qiwat Malat, if that is what you are."

Makes me think that Picard may have gotten himself involved in some serious Romulan Sectarian Warfare. These two groups appear to be mortal enemies, with traditions for how combat must be conducted (to wit, unarmed). Why? What history is there between these two groups? Something is afoot here...
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Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 2:22am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

P.S. @ Mal, regardless of whether one liked this episode or not, there's got to be a special place in hell for anyone who would compare this episode to Shades Of Grey...Just sayin'....that's pretty cold dude.
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Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 1:52am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

If you have half a soul and any reverence whatsoever for TNG, you will be a mess throughout and at the end of this episode.

"You don't have any parents, but you have Captain Picard, and he has you" - Will & Deanna's kid to Soji (and those aren't even the Riker/Troi scenes.)

Come for dinner at the Rikers (it's pizza with fresh-grown tomatoes and smoked space-rabbit) and you will be in Star Trek freaking nirvana (and not just because we would all give our left arm to be able to sit down to dinner with Picard and crew)

As it turns out, the dinner turns into capital-letter-"Real Trek" mystery/drama/sci-fi/crew-based problem-solving.

When the trailers came out, everyone was salivating over what the Data scenes would be like in Ep 1 (and they were great), and Jeri Ryan steals the show in Ep 5 (even over Stewart at times, and that's no small feat*) but the surprise of the season for me is how insanely satisfyingly good the Riker and Troi scenes in this episode are - showing that you don't have to be empathic to give sage advice and you don't have to be a first officer to help your captain.

The first scene while making dinner is perhaps one of the best Picard-Riker scenes ever and the exchange not only transcends most else in this series so far but indeed even a good share of what's in TNG canon overall, greatly adding to the richness of the sum of TNG.

................Oh yeah, there's also some stuff on the cube (Hugh dies, which sucks but isn't surprising), and sweet Agnes gets closer to coming clean with her murderous secret (after two barfs and another f-bomb, which - though I could have lived without said profanity - was pretty earned.)

For the scenes at "the Rikers'" and how they add to the story (and the other scenes for not taking away from the story and actually turning out pretty decent), not only is this my favourite Picard episode so far but I already consider it one of the top 20 of all Star Trek episodes (maybe even more - haven't totally processed it.)

This series has finally started to fire on all matter/anti-matter injectors (and in the case of this episode, additional ones I didn't even know existed)

"You could have just said 'dinner is ready'..." - Riker

11/5


(* I would have watched 10 episodes of Stewart just tending grapes and talking to his dog)
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Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 1:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

Totally disagree.

While not without its flaws, this could have made for a decent series finale (except it wouldn't have gotten the crew home and TNG already did this concept to perfection for IT'S series finale)

3.5/4
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Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 1:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

Jammer, your reviews and discussions have now travelled through space around our Sun 25 times.
Congrats! A tremendous Trekchievement!
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Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

Thought this was excellent

Jammer'll 2.5 it though, because 'reasons'
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