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Arachnea
Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Judgment

I couldn't agree more with the review and the last comments. I see the tribunal scenes as an homage, not a rip off this time. The story, in my opinion, wasn't about the sentence or the trial, but a comment about the rise and fall of a society and how some people can change (or not change) it.

It answers a lot of viewers who asked how the Klingons ever could become space faring. Apparently, the Klingon Empire was an educated and very diverse society. When the balance started to be too much in the caste/camp of the warriors, the Klingons started to corrupt everything, included honor. We witnessed the rise and fall of great civilizations in our own history, so it rings very much true. Plus, Hertzler is always a welcome addition !
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Arachnea
Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

I usually like to be the devil's advocate, but I couldn't agree more with the review and the comments. It started so well and I so wanted Archer to be wrong ! I mean, he's the least likable - Sisko included, and that's saying a lot from me - captain of the whole franchise. Even the cheesy Kirk had more sense than Archer.
So, when he's being so hostile instead of trying to communicate (in a nutshell, initiating a diplomatic first contact), it made me angry and once again, he didn't listen to T'Pol.

What made me more angry was the writers turning a potentially wonderful story about the first non-corporeal beings Starfleet encounters to another hostile alien. To add more offense, Archer destroys them all.
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Arachnea
Sun, Feb 10, 2013, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

I'm sorry, but this has nothing to do with Darmok. As many said, its story is for all intents and purposes "Enemy Mine".

Comparing it to Darmok is impossible:
- Picard is smart, educated and trained in the art of diplomacy. Trip is good in his field, but has never been depicted as the brightest of the team.
- Darmok never had hostile intentions towards Picard, Zo'Kann did - hence the fight.
- The UT worked in the case of Picard, what he had to understand was the metaphor behind the sentences (which is much more interesting for the viewer than trying to grasp words and grammar). Trip is faced with a totally alien language; in his situation, I don't believe Picard would have understood more words than Trip: you can't pick up vocabulary just snapping your fingers.

Darmok was brilliant and Dawn was average, I'll grant you that (but not one character has come close to the brilliance of Picard in all Trek), but you can't compare the two episodes, they are too dissimilar in theme. However, I can say that Enemy Mine was by far superior to this (but it was a very long movie).

I also would have liked Trip trying more to communicate with gestures. But then again, it's very much in character with who trip is. And I dare anyone here to think they could have grasped more than 10 words in less than a day with a hostile alien. For example, take a foreigner, he asks you to speak slowly, nine times out of ten, you will speak slowly and loudly, it's an unconscious reflex. In this episode, the louder comes mostly out of frustration.

Having said all that, I agree with the rating, but maybe not for the same reasons.
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Arachnea
Sun, Feb 10, 2013, 7:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

I appreciate Jammer's objectivity towards this series. I have the feeling that most of the comments come from a bias "I'll find something wrong no matter what against Enterprise". I agree that the first 2 seasons were mediocre, but there are some good episodes. Everyone wanted the series to be exceptional from season one; well, most of TV-shows first seasons aren't good (except for Firefly...)

I totally agree with the review and I don't think it's the typical reset button: it wasn't an episode about a big and long arc, it was a quiet and clever way to analyse Hoshi's fears. Auralgami, don't forget that Barclay and Beverly were in their forties, Hoshi is in her twenties. She can't possibly have the same degree of insight or self-knowledge. I also believe Hoshi does question her doubts, in her own way and she's learning. Add to this that the technology used here isn't as comfortable as in the 24th century.

I don't mean to defend Enterprise because I find it exceptional (my favorites still remain TOS and TNG), but because I believe that - while being inferior in comparison to the other Treks - it's still far superior to many other TV shows.
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Arachnea
Sat, Feb 9, 2013, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Two Days and Two Nights

The micro-stories are put well together and there's a nice pace. I liked the Hoshi story and the end.

I found very believable that Malcolm would want some woman, that's the way he's been depicted (first time when he looks so mesmerized watching the "eating-butterflies strip-teasers in a previous episode). However, until now, Trip hasn't been depicted (except by T'Pol) as such. He's been acting like a gentleman, even shy when around women. He said he's had only 3 relations so far and the way he described his first dance doesn't strike me as a guy who'd behave like that.

So, even if the continuity with the buddy-buddy with Reed is good, the theme is wrong.

For the rest... well, it was a Risa episode...
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Arachnea
Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

Well, I sincerely believe this episode is underrated. It's all about characterization and it's very "Trekian".

We discover or are reinforced in the ideas of who each main character is. T'Pol is not human and her way of dealing with Hoshi is obviously wrong from a human perspective, but we also witness her adapt and give encouragement instead of "repression". Hoshi lacks confidence and is on a learning journey, which is great. Malcolm is a typical security man, focused on the danger (and likes things being blown up :p). Trip and Archer share a genuine friendship. The captain pouts when something doesn't go his way... Well, you get my point, I could continue on little details, but it's unnecessary.

The plot was well conceived, but the pace was a bit slow. The truly alien life form was interesting and the developement of the force field was great. I was interested in watching more of Mayweather, but the last episode and this one make me agree with Jammer: his acting is unfortunately very very poor.
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Arachnea
Thu, Feb 7, 2013, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fusion

This first season is a lot about misconceptions and I believe many of the viewers had heard that Enterprise had killed vulcans and was utter crap (good way to start to watch a series with prejudice).

Well, I'm not saying Enterprise was stellar, but it had its moments. At this point, we shouldn't forget it's a prequel and if this episode establishes something, it's obviously that 22nd century vulcans will evolve (we'll see how later in the show) and better themselves. So, viewers who say Enterprise killed a myth are wrong. If we accept that humans can better themselves through time, then we can also accept that vulcans have done the same, can't we ?

We have 22nd century vulcans who use (sometimes) twisted logic to justify their goals, they're depicted as overly arrogant and racist (note that Spock responded to "you're more human than you think" by "don't insult me", which is not very nice either). On the other hand, we have vulcans who seek their origin: vulcans are born with emotions - strong ones - and have a different interpretation of the teaching of Surak. The mind-meld not being common in vulcan's culture is a serious hint that something will change in the future.

Of course, I'm disappointed by the end of the episode and I have to agree that Archer isn't very likable. Jammer is right, we can't be sure who is the exception here: Tolaris or Vok ? What I don't understand is the captain punishing the whole crew for the act of one man (vulcan). He's depicted as everything has to be black or white: in the beginning, he believes T'Pol should be more like these emotional vulcans. At the end, he dismisses them as if they were all bad, thus repressing emotions must be the only good solution. I'd liked a more subtle approach...
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Arachnea
Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Breaking the Ice

Well, obviously, the plot is very forgettable, but the characters interactions are great. The first season is based on a commentary about prejudice, distrust, grudges and misconceptions. Here, we have a perfect example.

Some say Archer isn't intelligent and should be more of a diplomat. I agree to some degree. But I'd like to point out that vulcans (before finding their true philosophy) aren't the epitome of diplomacy, as depicted here by Vanik. He's, by humans standards, very rude and so is Archer by vulcan standards.

At this point, I agree with Jammer about Mayweather and I'm liking Trip a little more every episode: he's flawed and impulsive but honest with a great heart. On top of that, he's easily the best actor of the regular cast.
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Arachnea
Mon, Feb 4, 2013, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Unexpected

Unlike some Trek fans, I enjoyed some of the themes in Enterprise and it was a difficult mission for the writers to come with something new while remaining canon.

This episode is a mixed-bag: from very good to very bad. The worst being Archer and I'm not talking about a 24th century captain, but as a human being. I like the fact that the writers wanted to have the crew very flawed, but there are some limits. Archer doesn't show any empathy towards his crew (we've witnessed it in all first episodes): first he seems more interested in his dog than his crewman (and friend!) when Trip is obviously in psychological distress. Then, he doesn't even ask once if Trip's life is in any danger with the pregnancy, he's amused !

Having said that, the encounter with these aliens was interesting and I'd hoped they had taken more time to get to know each other's cultures but the realisation was good.

The other problems with this episode having already been written, I'll stop here.
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Arachnea
Fri, Feb 1, 2013, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

I very much appreciated last episode - The Void - and this two-parters. While the first wasn't very subtle, this one was, in the decoupage, the little scenes, the characters interactions and the social allegory. I much agree with Cloudane, my job doesn't define me, even if it's an important part of my life. And I very much agree with Paul York about brainwashing, slavery and "half-slavery".

To answer Chris, I never understood why they said Chakotay was a vegetarian. It was established on TNG that they didn't kill animals anymore. What they eat is replicated meat, thus, not really meat. My question is (being a vegetarian myself), for what reason Chakotay wouldn't eat replicated fish and meat when no animal suffered ?
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Arachnea
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

I agree with most people here. Sci-Fi - and Trek in particular - was/is a very good mean to talk about things considered otherwise taboo or to make allegories about our society.

In my opinion, for any TV-show to work, one must be able to identify with, or like or like to dislike characters. For this to happen, characters must be given some depth, then shows like this one works.

For instance, this one touched me very much because I grew up like B'elanna: being identified as a stranger because I was born asian. In my time (hmpff, makes me feel old) there wasn't the racial and cultural diversity there is today in my country and I can assure you it wasn't easy every day as a child. How many times have I thought of reshaping my eyes (when I was a teenager), so the genetic issue blended with the racial problem is really well thought. Today there are still racial problems but due to other things than being one in a thousand.

So, like I said, I believe it's important that popular sci-fi shows make people think about those kinds of issues. It won't touch everyone, but if it can make 1/4 of the watchers think, the job is done.

I didn't make this comment to whine about myself - I've accepted who and what I am with time and age - but to make some commenters understand why those kinds of shows, whatever the social or mythical allegory are, are worth existing, worth watching and worth our attention. And if english were my language, I'd have explained even better...

Conclusion: I like Star Trek for what it wishes to say, not for its bad science. If I want pure entertainment without any thinking, I've got plenty around to choose from :p.
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Arachnea
Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

That was an excellent two-parters with subtle characterization and a good story.

That is, until the very end... I also thought the change in Iden was too abrupt, but I could live with it. What I found wrong - in an episode where there's an emphasis on consequences - that the Doctor doesn't suffer any consequences (except his own guilt).

I critisized Sisko a lot, so it's only fair to analyse Janeway too. I guess she is prejudiced against Paris. In another episode, we heard the captain tell Kim she wouldn't have been surprised if Paris had done what Kim did (which is totally wrong to tell to a co-worker).

So, Tuvok, Chakotay, Kim and now the Doc are just reprimanded while Paris is not only being demoted, he's put in the Brig (with no visitors, which is also wrong and a good way to have someone become irrational and getting psychologically disturbed) for a whole month. That means Ops, security and seconding are more valuable than the pilot ? And than the only medic ? Or that means there's an obvious double standard.

Well, I've said it, now I can move on :p. It's a shame, because the rest of this episode was great.
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Arachnea
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

Sorry... My previous comment is intended for Good Shepherd.

[Previous comment moved by administrator to correct page.]

Since I'm here, I have to say I agree with Elliott, it's a truly good episode indeed.
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Arachnea
Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Good Shepherd

I liked this episode, though it would have fitted better in the second season. What bothers me is the idea that the captain doesn't know her small crew: they're less than 150 and have lived together for 6 years !

The other thing I find awkward is about Seven. Has she become the efficiency officer ? If I were a crewman, moreover a Starfleet officer with years of training, I'd be pissed to know that a former Borg has that much influence. In addition, I'd resent her "I'm superior and better than you" attitude. I'd have understood if she had asked a private meeting with Janeway to complain, but here, it looks like a formal senior officer's meeting.

Granted, that's a nitpick about an otherwise very enjoyable episode, but it's something that's always bothered me.
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Arachnea
Sun, Jan 20, 2013, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

Overall, I like these two-parters but did we really have to have Janeway becoming Sisko ?

Janeway has made bad decisions, has been wrong-headed and a little obsessive in the past. Sometimes, her behavior could be explained by the fact that she's all alone, no backup, to make tough and stressfull decisions.

But here, it doesn't make any sense. I'd have accepted some borderline obsession, but a cold-hearted murderer... and twice ! Once with the interrogation and then with the pact with the aliens. I also agree that Chakotay and Tuvok should have taken actions against their captain and I'd have liked to see more consequences.
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Arachnea
Sun, Jan 20, 2013, 7:19am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

I agree 100% with Jammer about R. Dawson. In my opinion, she's the best actress on Star Trek and I'd have liked to see more about B'elanna.

On top of that, she's a beautiful women... though, I don't really care about beautiful women. That's something that's always bothered me: all the women are (with very few exceptions) attractive. On the other hand, all the men (with very few exceptions) are not really handsome.

If you're a man but no top-model, you have a chance of being hired. If you're a woman, you must be somewhat charming. I'm not a feminist, but if I'm not bothered by unattractive guys - if they are good actors - the same should be true for women, shouldn't it ? And if you don't agree, so let us have some good-looking men too !

Sorry, that was my yearly ranting ;-).
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Rach
Wed, Jan 16, 2013, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

Introduction of force fields was a good element.
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Arachnea
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

I thoroughly enjoy reading these reviews, but they really are biased against this show. I'd rather it would be rated for what it is and not for not being DS9. Don't get me wrong, I respect your point of view and the time/thoughts you put in these reviews.

Granted, it would have been great to have the crew remaining a bit more in the Void, there are many shuttle crashes, there are no long story-arcs, many plot-holes and easy ways out. However, there are often some nice subtle character developements that you don't talk about in favor of deploring plots and/or metaphors that are simply dismissed.

In this episode, it's nice to see how the staff react in their own particular ways. Though Neelix isn't my favorite character (by far :p), his panic attacks were very much in character and I felt for him. About Janeway, I don't agree it's not like her: a depression may "fall on" everyone, wether the time is right or wrong (well... usually, there's never a right time). One of the symptoms of depressive episodes is isolation. I certainly would have liked it not being magically cured at the end of this episode, but it's very consistent for a person who's had heavy weight on her shoulders - totally alone - to get depressed.

I know it's totally silly to write this comment years after you wrote your reviews, but as I'm overcoming my shyness to write in english, it felt good to type it ;-).
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Arachnea
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

I'm half/half with this one, with many things bothering me. I like the concept of a molecule destroying subspace and consequently warp-travel. A molecule that seems impossible to "tame" and too dangerous to "exist".

What bothered me:
- why all the secrecy ? Janeway gives an explanation that doesn't really make sense to me.
- how can Chakotay authorize Seven to treat the crew as she does ? Basically, it's not bad to organize and give specific tasks, but the designation is awful. Calling someone with a number is like denying one's individuality and treating one like a useful object, not a person. Ensign Kim's reaction should have been a total rejection of it, not being vexed because given a lower number...
- The spiritual side of the Borg - while interesting - doesn't strike me as consistent with what we know.

Finally, on a general sidenote, what does senior officer mean exactly (other than putting the cast together) ? Paris is a helmsman/nurse; Kim is a young ensign; the doctor has no grade. B'elanna (who wasn't there) and Tuvok are chief, therefore I understand and Chakotay is obvious. Seven, except for this story should never be there (or maybe she's considered the science officer Voyager never had).
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Rach
Sat, Jan 12, 2013, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shuttlepod One

Alcohol is a vasodilator and accelerates the lowering of core body temperature, and ultimately hypothermia. While it would potentially have a palliative effect on anyone in such a hopeless situation (as it did in this episode), it diminishes physical and mental capabilities (obviously), and increases probability of death.
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Arachnea
Sat, Jan 5, 2013, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

"Agreed, Neelix knows a lot about basic survival but he's not an officer."

Like what? He wasn't able to make fire, didn't know there are bugs under rocks you can eat - and this is important - Wasn't able to keep anyone alive! His stupidity got Hogan killed (his death BTW proved he was 100%ˇright in Alliances) and partially caused conflict with the natives. The asshole would get himself killed if Chakotay wouldn't come to save his ass.
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Rach
Wed, Jan 2, 2013, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Terra Nova

Watch it again on Hulu; it's not as bad as all this. Remember, the Colony was left to young children to survive; it would explain their primitiveness, not to mention necessity of moving and living underground.
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Arachnea
Wed, Dec 26, 2012, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Fair Trade

Just a sidenote about Neelix: I believe the character became what we know today because of Ethan Philips. In the first episodes, E. Phillips overplayed the goofy parts and emphasized the annoying traits of Neelix. Like Justin, I believe the writers partly write in relation to the actors. Had Phillips played his lines in a more serious, darker tone, Neelix could have become - like in this episode - a multi-layered and fully fledged character. One to challenge Starfleet attitudes or/and to gradually come to respect/embrace them. We viewers would have found the goofy parts funny if they'd been scarce.
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Arachnea
Mon, Dec 24, 2012, 6:49am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

The perfect show would have been a mixture of DS9 and Voyager:
DS9 was better in plots, storytelling,long arcs and use of great recurrent characters but lacked in allegories and deep-thoughts questions (sorry, I don't if that's the proper way to say it in english, but I guess you understand anyway) and forgot a lot about what Star Trek stood for initially. Voyager mostly was the contrary.

This episode is a perfect example. With a DS9 storytelling and the Voyager's thoughtfulness, it would have been excellent. Nic and Elliott already highlighted the good points, thanks.
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Arachnea
Sun, Dec 23, 2012, 1:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

Unlike Nic, Kim is not my favorite character. However, in this particular episode, I liked his growth: the naive young ensign who's been sheltered from bad thing all his life before coming aboard the Voyager must fight - both mentally and physically - for his life (and his friend's) in extreme circumstances.

After so many Trek seasons, some ideas are bound to be recycled and, when they are well used to explore important themes, I don't really mind.

What bothered me was Janeway's decision to offer a "hostage exchange". It really looks like meddling in another society's affairs, even if two of her crewmen have been wrongly accused. Knowing the swift and inaccurate justice system this government have, Janeway should have given proof (traces of the trilithium on the cargo shuttle), but not sending two young beings to something somewhat worse than a death sentence with absolutely no knowledge of the political situation.
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