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Fri, Jun 13, 2014, 2:18am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Survival Instinct

All throughout the episode you hear "consensus this" and "consensus that" from Seven and the former drones. Then Seven is given words of advice from her crewmates--first from Chakotay, then from the Doctor, and they are 180 degrees apart. I thought this contrast and the need for Seven exercise her individuality to reach a decision was a nice touch.
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Dominic Jerry Nardi Jr.
Tue, May 27, 2014, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Cumberbatch was OK. I thought the problem was less him or his acting and more that he wasn't playing Khan. The way he played the character would have been perfect for the villain in Skyfall - angry secret agent who wants to get revenge on his former employer - with an added dose of concern for his "family." Khan in TWOK though was an overly dramatic, larger than life character. I don't think anybody could have achieved Montalban's presence on screen, but Cumberbatch wasn't the right pick imho.
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Wed, Nov 6, 2013, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

I don't agree that the 5th season is the best season of Voyager so far. I feel that the show has become shallow and that the characters become more and more like cardboard cutouts with each passing episode.

With that out of the way, although this episode had good production value and special effects ("I don't think that's Earth"), the plot was a blatant rehash of several previous offerings, most notably Persistence of Vision.

I liked the conspiracy theory angle, and wish the writers had played that up and made it a major theme of the episode instead of one plot point. After all, how many episodes have we had to endure in which 7 of 9 betrays the Voyager crew? Too many to count. It would have been cool to see the contrary.

Likewise, I wish the audience had not been let in on the secret at the beginning of the episode, and instead had only been presented with events from Seven of Nine's POV. (Actually, I missed the first part of the episode the first time around--and seeing Janeway's log where she says the wormhole is an "elaborate deception" was kind of chilling because I didn't know any better. If only the episode had been written that way.)

It's hard to give this episode a high rating when there were so many others like it. 2.5 from me.
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Thu, Oct 3, 2013, 9:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Man, Janeway's comparison of the Doctor to a food replicator made me cringe. I thought we got past that after the first season. A fine example of the inconsistent writing that we've all talked about.

Despite this, I found it a good episode the first time I saw it. Unfortunately it doesn't stand up that well to repeated viewings.

Also, regarding Harry Kim's reaction...he could have been playing dumb but perhaps he really didn't remember the surgery? Maybe they never told him? It is indeed a bit of a loose thread.
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Wed, Aug 21, 2013, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

I am not sure why Jammer is so bent out of shape regarding the creation of the holographic Krell. There is a huge amount of precedent for programming and creating complex holodeck characters out of thin air. Two offhand examples are seen in "The Thaw" (in which a fake Janeways is 'programmed to respond the way the real Captain Janeway would'), and "Worst Case Scenario", in which basically the whole crew is recreated. Oh, I should also point out that "Alter Ego" implied that apparently holograms and sentient life forms are essentially indistinguishable. Actually, these ideas were established in TNG when Geordi recreated Leah Brahms and Data recreated Sigmund Freud, among others.

So by this time in the series I just take it for granted that holographic characters can be created from nothing. The Doctor constantly reminding everyone how complex his program is could be taken as another example of his pretentiousness. The episode in which Kim and Paris try to create a new Doc, and he just ends up reading the encyclopedia, was actually an exception to the rule.

So with that out of the way, I will give my thoughts on the episode: cliches and bad acting in the first half, but the rest was interesting and innovative. The Moset character was captivating. You don't hear lines like "Ethics are arbitrary" in Star Trek every day. I was also as stunned as The Doctor at how hypocritical Krell was in citing the Hippocratic Oath.

What I want to know is how the *** this life form jumped right out of a force-field. Never explained. I also find it odd that this alien is apparently impervious to force-fields yet it is vulnerable to a holographic scalpel!

On balance, I think it was a good epside, and would give it 2.5 or 3 stars. I could see why Roxann Dawson hated it, though. She spent the entire episode with that HIDEOUS thing on her.

Oh, and the name of the episode is a brilliant double entendre.
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Dominick Destine
Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 12:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Like most people, I had some serious problems with the large amount of plot holes in the episode. Here are a few that were not mentioned yet;

- Odo really doesn't keep his files secure? Odo, the security chief, the guy that is incredibly methodical does NOT keep his station code-locked? seriously?

- Odo does not keep a copy or a backup of sensitive information ? What?! this is completely inconsistent with Odo's character. His character is not capable of such incompetence.

- Wouldn't the station detect the bomb on the freighter that the two Shakaar members arrived on? I'm pretty sure if it were that easy to assassinate targets on DS9, Sisko and co. would have died long ago.

- What was the point of the "That's one, two three, etc" sub-plot? it wasn't a clue and it didn't really go anywhere...

With that said, I really liked the episode, the direction was superb, the pacing was excellent and the performances were spot-on. Though Kira was out of character in despising all Cardassians, since she had learned better in S1 Duet. Oh well, in any case, I also think 3 of 4 stars is adequate. Terrible plot executed fabulously.
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Dominick Destine
Sun, Aug 11, 2013, 2:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@Elliot and others insulting Sybok

Congratulations on completely proving Sybok's point. You call him an idiot and a "hate spewing ass bag" but from my vantage point, you and others like you are the only people spouting intense hatred. You are a hypocrite.

In any case, I happen to agree with Sybok's position but even if I didn't, I would almost be forced to agree with him because those who oppose him (people like you) can't go through a single response without degenerating into ad hominem and strawman arguments.

I have no problem with people that choose homosexuality. You can have sex with whoever you want, I support that freedom. What I don't support is the blatant double standard wherein you can express your approval of the homosexual agenda but others cannot express their disapproval. Being black isn't a choice. You don't choose what color your skin is before you go to sleep, you -do- choose who you will sleep with.

"Far Beyond the Stars"
I hated it. It was terrible... and I believe it is tremendously overrated. The pacing was awkward and thus the episode tended to drag a lot (Not that I was surprised, the premise is wafer thin), the acting was extremely weak and amateur (Looking at you, Avery Brooks) and worse than everything else, it is not DS9, it's not even a Star Trek episode. Star Trek is meant to be science fiction, wherein the problems of today's society are highlighted within a different cultural context. "RACISM IS BAD" is something we already know and accept, a sledgehammer to the face with the words "racism sucks" is not a good way to promote acceptance.

I'd rank it very low, about 1.5 out of 4.
For the record, I am hispanic and come from a jewish family (Figure that one out), I know what it's like to be discriminated against, but making an episode about the Evil White People and the Poor Black Victim just reeks of lazy writing and lame storytelling.
That is my opinion on it.
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Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

"What's a mitochondria?"
"The warp core of a cell!"

I liked this episode for the way Neelix and Naomi were used and the chemistry between those two characters. I also enjoyed seeing Samantha Wildman again and am disappointed they didn't use her more.

The holodeck scenes were visually stunning, and looked just like you would expect a children's holodeck program to look--very lush and colorful. But the Flotter (it rhymes with water, get it, hahaha) theme became inane quickly.

One scene that was really cool was when Naomi wondered onto the bridge. We got to see the bridge and hear the captain talking from a naive outsider's perspective.

But yeah, they just built the Delta Flyer what, the very last episode? And they crashed it already? It would have actually been vastly superior storytelling to have the crash been due to some type of design or construction flaw, rather than an ion storm, considering they built it in less than a week. It would have not only added continuity and made it felt more serious rather than a cliche plot device.

A minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, but I had a little trouble believing Janeway ran that holodeck program as a little girl. Surely holodecks were in their infancy then?
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Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

Oh yeah...

I'll say again Robert Beltran's acting always looks especially terrible when he is in a scene with Mulgrew. And the line, "Chakotay, there's no one I trust more than you" was ridiculous. We all know Janeway trusts Tuvok the most, and that she only picked Chakotay to be F/O to help the Maquis feel at home.
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Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

There were a lot of good parts but also a lot of bad parts in this episode. It could have been a great episode if it had been given the "page 1 rewrite" treatment.

Some of the problems:
- Janeway's sudden personality change was jarring and not convincing (I'm talking about the concept, not Mulgrew's acting, which actually seemed really good). It just seemed so sudden and to come out of nowhere. They could have foreshadowed it in the first couple of scenes instead of wasting time on Captain Protein.

- The aliens live in a vast void thousands of light years across. Where did they come from? Where do they get sustenance? More importantly, they have ships! What do they use these ships for if they have nowhere to go?

On the bright side, the black slimy aliens were really well-done, and I like the "greedy selfish garbage man" concept. Oh, the costuming and ship design for the garbage aliens was good too. I'll also note this is one of the few episodes where I thought Janeway's usually cheesy one-liner worked. Time to take out of the garbage.
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Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 2:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

I liked this episode a lot. I thought B'Elanna's mental health state was handled so much better by the script writer's than Janeways depression/guilt in Night.

Some problems though-built a new shuttle in a week? Who are they kidding? The writers seem to have poor attention to detail.

Another thing is that the writing has seen a gross lack of subtlety in every episode so far this season. It seems the writers think the audience won't get their concepts unless they shove them in their faces over and over. Just one example from this episode is the incessant warnings from the computer about how dangerous it is to turn the holo safeties off. There are many other examples from this and the previous two episodes but I don't feel like enumerating them. I'd think writers of a sci-fi show would hold their audience in higher regard.
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Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

In the bar scene where Valerie and Chakotay meet, after one of the extras "reverts", she discusses how hard it is to be human, and "that's why (she) reads their books." But she was reading a Vulcan book, not a human one.

I too was frustrated how Species 8472 was "neutered", as one reviewer above wrote. The episode was well executed and enjoyable despite a major flaw in its concept. If it had been a novel species instead of 8472, it would have been more believable. 2.5 stars
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Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

This could have been a great episode. It started off as a great episode. But then they blew it with too many ridiculous plot contrivances.

Jammer's criticism is interesting but focuses too much on the idea that we were faked out again on the idea of getting home. I don't have a problem with that, but I *do* have a problem when the plot is moved along by the stupidity of the main characters, not to mention galaxy-sized holes in the plot itself.

First I'll address the stupidity of the characters:

The audience is expected to believe that Janeway just up and hands over this super-secret mega-encrypted message from Starfleet to an alien they just met in hopes that he can decrypt it and find its secrets?

Then when they find out Starfleet wants them to proceed to certain coordinates, they take Arturis with them? Why would they not drop him off at his destination first? He had already decrypted as much of the message as he could.

Why would they transport Arturis over to the Dauntless? So he can stand around and do nothing? So he can spy on what they thought was highly classified, cutting-edge Federation technology?

When they discover the Dauntless is a fake, why does Janeway tell Tuvok to wait so she can meet up with them on the Dauntless? Why wouldn't they transport Arturis directly to the Voyager brig?

They identify the Dauntless as having a "Federation warp signature" but then it has a totally different type of engine than anything Starfleet has ever used? Why did this not raise suspicion?

Then there's the plot holes.

Janeway spends months trying to decode the message, gives up, tries again, and is finally able to get it just in the nick of time?

The adapted the Dauntless engine technology to Voyager in what, days? (As an aside, all sorts of major scientific breakthroughs happen way too fast and too easily on this show.)

How did the Voyager gain on the Dauntless when they were chasing each other at transwarp or whatever the hell it was called? Can you even use transporters in that realm?

Seven just happens to have the ability to walk through a force field by pressing some buttons on her ocular implant. Okay.

They managed to take Voyager all the way back to Borg space, then back to where they started, and then an additional 300 light years closer to the Alpha quadrant after that, only THEN did it threaten to damage the ship?

Geez. Instead of "Hope and Fear", they should have called this episode "Stupidity and Swiss cheese."

There are some positive aspects to this episode. The set for the Dauntless was very well done and I thought the direction was pretty good.

I also would like to take note of the exchange between Tuvok and Janeway where they discuss whether or not the Dauntless is a trap, and compare it with the exchange between Chakotay and Janeway in the very previous episode where they discuss whether leaving 7 of 9 in charge is good idea. Janeway and Tuvok have far superior on-screen chemistry, and Tim Russ's line delivery was far more believable and natural.

I am not sure if it is the writing or the acting; but probably both. Chakotay: "Tell me this isn't a mistake." Oh please. Could the dialog and delivery be any more bland?

(I think the Chakotay character could easily have been killed off and Janeway could then have made Tuvok her First Officer. It would have made a lot more sense. Or they could have made Chakotay ship's counselor. It seems that's the only thing he can do anyway.)

Despite its problems, I still enjoyed the episode. I think a two star rating is fair, but I would give it two and a half.
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Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

I really liked this episode aside from the terrible acting in the teaser (and by the way, the effects of the nebula ARE explained, several times). The alien is creepy in a good way (not like the "Isomorph" which was way over the top to the point of being aggravating), though I do not like how that plot thread was left completely unresolved. Did he die or did they just beam him back to his ship?

I particularly liked the surreal feel which reminded me of Season 2 (Persistence of Vision, Cold Fire, and Projections). The warp core turning green was a really cool effect.

Anyway, I couldn't help but see a metaphor between this episode and the direction the series as a whole would take from this point: the rest of the crew basically gets put in suspended animation and it becomes The 7 Of 9 Show. At the beginning of Season 4, they at least tried to make shows about other characters. But I believe this episodes marks the turning point where they've given up and the rest of the characters basically become extras.
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