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Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 2:57am (UTC -6)
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello Everyone!

Back in the days of Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine, cable companies were simpler. We had around three packages (at least with mine), and things would come and go as they were added and subtracted. I saw Babylon 5 on the cover of TV Guide, but it was on SciFy, and my package didn't have that. It looked interesting, and they gave it a good writeup, but I had no shot at watching. Then without warning two years later, my package changed for the better and there was SciFy. I'd remembered others talking with me about B5 and how good they thought it was, so I gave it a shot with "The Long, Twilight Struggle"...

It was fun, trying to figure out the series at the end of season two/start of season three, and I was Hooked! (For some reason, they held the last episodes of a season until the beginning of the next one...)

The stories just seemed... deeper. The bad guys were... subtle. The good guys had... shades of gray...

Perhaps if I'd seen B5 from the beginning as many did, I'd think of it differently. But here I was with fleshed out characters, none of whom were exactly as they appeared. And at nearly the same time came the Dominion War. The two just didn't compare. Don't get me wrong, I was a Trek Lifer/Truther (and loved Star Wars, which got me into Trek in '77), and DS9 was great! But eventually DS9, Voy and Bab5 were all showing at the same time, and if there were new episodes of each in turn on that Saturday, I'd save B5 for last. Oh, I'd watch the ST's, and enjoy them. But B5, I'd let it play, and not even fast forward during the commercials (sometimes taking a little break), just to make them last longer.

I've been going through Trek on a slow re-watch, and have been delightfully surprised by some from that time, knowing I rushed through them in the past. But now, B5 has just started showing on the station Comet, free Teevee, and I've been recording it daily... I almost get the same rush I got back then when I see another episode. The nuances... the stories... sigh...

And I've been looking at some of the characters I didn't think were that well-cast back then, seeing them in a different light. I didn't think much of Claudia at the time, but she has some moments that just makes the character shine. I used to think just about any actress could have played her, though now I'm not so certain. And as an aside, it is almost difficult watching the opening credits, seeing all of the actors who have died since it was made. There is no going back, sadly.

Lastly, while all of the B5 humanoid ships had secondary weapons that were pointing in many directions, they all *spoilers*---

---apart from the Vorlons and Shadows, had to actually Point their ships at the enemy to use their Main Guns. No matter the race, you had to Face Them, because they took so much energy they ran the length of that part of the ship (sort of like that BIG PHASER the Enterprise had in their last episode). It was very cool to see two ships maneuver to get an enemy in that crossfire. No 300,000 km battles here that were shown next to each other. Nope. If they fired those babies off, there was a purpose and it was up close.

*spoilers done*---

And to try to figure out the bad guys, because no one had, except they had actually figured them out but no one would listen, and good guys become bad guys, and bad guys become good guys, and one is such a shade of gray he should have been the poster child for Gray...

Yes, the first season was nothing to write home about, but it set the stage. JMS even had a removed actor come back to work later to flesh things out, and how often does that happen? Yes the last season was a bit of an add-on, as they thought they were going to be canceled after season four, but it fit right in with his "bible", so to speak.

Perhaps I just should have said: Babylon 5 season One, get through it, you'll be happy eventually. Seasons Two, Three and Four, you will be very happy. And season Five, you will be happy, just not as much as after season Four. But, it's good.

Thank you for your time and for reading my Random Thoughts (I came up with it before the Voy episode of the same name, by the way).

Heck I could go on with that, just as long as there isn't a weird power outa.....

*blue screen*
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Peter G.
Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

"To me, this is her job in situations like this. Whichever decision was made, anyone participating would be left with the guilty burden of it. So no one participated in the decision making but Janeway. It's on her, and she accepts the burden, alone."

I'm not exactly saying the show should have had this, but this is where Voyager as a series showed a lack of vision as compared with nu-Battlestar Galactica. I actually don't like that series, but in terms of making sense we should realistically understand that a Starship Captain is not a judge, not a jury, and not an executioner by any stretch of the law or Starfleet training. And I doubt very much that in the absence of a proper judge or jury that Captains have any authority to meet out justice other than to put people in the brig to await legal judgement. If on an extended mission (like that of NCC-1701) a person would likely have to sit in the brig a good long while if they were nowhere near a starbase and needed judgement. In some TOS episodes we see formal hearings, such as that to relieve a Captain, but never to judge someone as in a court of law.

So from the standpoint of "Janeway has no choice but to be judge and jury" I don't think that's true at all. In fact, it's a one-way ticket to a fascist dictatorship where one person decides who lives and who dies. TOS repeatedly had episodes outlining the outrageous power a starship Captain wields and the terrible consequences of abuse of that power. Whole worlds can die as a result. Garth of Izar is the example of a Captain who has come to believe that he is the law. What Voyager needed, quite simply, was a tribunal system applied by the crew in democratic fashion and in such a way as to not be controlled by Janeway. The command of the ship needed to be centralized, but if they were going to implement a criminal justice system this needed to be done as a community. The lack thereof results in (IMO) several episodes where the choices made make Janeway look like a dictator, when in reality the fault lies in the producers refusing to ever add new elements to the show in order that it remain watchable in any order.
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Ari Paul
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

OK, two things I love about Stewart's performance here:

1) Just watch the way he deliver's this line:
Worf: A Promelian Battlecruiser?!
Picard: With its lang-cycle fusion engines still intact!

I mean, come on! Just look at his delivery! Stewart is running on all 8 cylinders and just milking the most out of this. It's awe-inspiring.

2) When Picard steps in on Georgi in the Holodeck when the sh*t it really hitting the fan, and Geordi introduces the captain to the holographic Dr. Leah Brahms. Picard just looks briefly over at Brahms and then stares at Geordi for a good while. It's so awesomely awkward, and awesomely full of tension and Geordi knows in an instant that he has slipped up allowing his feelings to get before his duty to the captain and the ship. It's so subtle--- just great acting.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 11:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Disaster

While it might hit a few movie cliches, just about everything that happens in this episode is new for TNG.

- seeing how the turbolifts work
- Picard stuck with children in a life and death situation (would say borrowed from Jurassic Park but that was two years later (maybe from the book?))
- Troi in command
- Worf as a medic
- O'Brian's most important situation yet I think
- Data willingly electrocuting himself/Data's head detached
- venting to put out a fire/enduring space vacuum

it does end very abruptly, but otherwise it definitely deserves more than 2/4.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 9:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

Watching and commenting:

Poor dabo girl. Sisko can read Ferenghi?

It seems like I recognize this Gamma-alien actor, but I can't figure it out through the makeup.

Tosk definitely has personal space issues.

So O'Brien suspects the guy can make himself invisible? And he's lying . . . but they leave info about where the weapons are stored open to him.

Lots of talk about reputation. More (like every ep this season) about how the past follows you around, impacts the present and all that.

Love O'Brien.

Yikes, those are Captain Proton type alien uniforms right there. This phaser fight needs to be in black and white.

Hunters who make sure their prey is smart enough to provide a challenging hunt. And to think I was hoping never to see the Hirogen again.

Since they're willing to restart the hunt, I'm just not sure I understand why the hunters just didn't let hunt recommence when they found Tosk. But maybe I'm missing something.

Kept my interest, fairly basic fare, but enjoyable.

I am Springy.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

well I can't read the whole 7+ year old thread, but there's something I want to mention though someone else may have already thought of it.

first, my personal instinct in this case is definitely to "shoot first and ask questions later". you almost can't get worse than this thing. it's like a repeating nuke that specifically targets population centers. *maybe* it could be reasoned with, and placated, *maybe*, but that isn't really worth the risk. this thing is arguably worse than the borg, and no one would suggest not destroying them. even if you could temporarily placate it, maybe a decade from now it goes on another rampage. oops, 100k more dead?

ok but, what I wanted to mention is that I think I can maybe see one reason not to destroy it. this thing specifically targets *life*, all the way down to seeds and bacteria. good or evil, there is something important to be learned from it. maybe it's as mundane as being a carbon vacuum, but maybe there's something else about "life" that it's absorbing. the discovery of "lifeforce" would be pretty important. but even if it's just absorbing all carbon, there's still got to be something to be learned, either for being a silicon based life form, or however its matter absorption beam works.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 8:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless


I'm not going to defend this one much at all. I gave it a half-star extra for the potential. I agree that it fundamentally misses the mark on what a quest episode should be about-a mystical object that represents something tangible, like the One Ring or Excalibur. From a surface-analysis level, there are also serious pacing issues here. Instead of keeping a sense of pulpy momentum all the way through like the Indiana Jones movies (1 and 3, at least) or the first Pirates of the Carribean film, it devolves into Worf and Kor arguing over nothing (which, as you pointed out, doesn't feel true to their characters) in the same terrible cave set Trek's been using since "The Enemy" (or possibly further back, I can't remember). The writing staff had a good idea, but this needed a few more re-writes. So it goes with a 26 episode production season I suppose.
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J Fenzel
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 8:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Well said, Carlos. I have yet to see anything beyond episode 1, and despite the scathing comments I've read here I will be purchasing the season 1 Blu Ray and making my own judgement. I too have been a Trek fan all my life and have found things I love and things I don't like so much in each carnation. Looking forward to actually seeing the season play out. And btw I'm really intrigued with the new Picard series and what direction the producers will take it.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 7:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

@Elliott & Peter G

When I first viewed this one on its airdate, I sort of believed Kor and Worf were capable of killing eachother over ambitious zealotry to retrieve the Holy Gr...I mean Sword of Kahless. So I think the episode sort of works in a bottle like Peter G said where all Klingons are somewhat violent at heart and when the stakes are high enough punching, stabbing, murder - you name it - are all on the table.

However, as I’ve rewatched TNG and “Blood Oath”, it really feels like there had to be some sort of unexplained magic curse - like an Indiana Jones artifact - in order for this story to work. Under normal circumstances, Worf would never seize power like he aspires to here (Hell, he’s had the chance to seize power numerous times including “Redemption” and he turned it down because of his honor - or we might say Federation influence but the point remains.) Kor also goes off the deep end in a way that’s really unflattering to the character and doesn’t really hold with the generally decent person we see in “Blood Oath” or even the first few acts here.

So yeah, I don’t even mind there being a curse per se, but even Indiana Jones was smart enough to explain its curses and give both possible magical and scientific reasoning for them. Without that, I feel like part of this episode is really lacking. To that end, throwing away the artifact seems like an outrageously drastic solution to a problem not well articulated.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 5:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

@Circus Man

Ah, I see what you mean. A short delay. I suppose they could have comes up some kind of proceeding, but I admire Janeway for her decision, for this reason:

She took the entire burden on her own shoulders. No burden for Chakotay (e.g., if he failed to save Tuvix, or conversely, if he didn't fail, thereby condemning Tuvok and Neelix)) or anyone else who might have served to present the opposing viewpoint.

To me, this is her job in situations like this. Whichever decision was made, anyone participating would be left with the guilty burden of it. So no one participated in the decision making but Janeway. It's on her, and she accepts the burden, alone.

I think "Janeway was morally wrong here" is a legit viewpoint. It can be reasonably supported, given that Tuvix is an individual and Tuvok and Neelix are already, essentially, dead and gone - and, as you say, there was no due process of any kind. Zero

But my perspective is that figuring up some kind of hearing procedure, pulling in others and spreading out responsibility, seeking validation (legal or otherwise), would have been cowardly.
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Peter G.
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

@ Elliott,

I won't critique your objection to the episode, which I think echoes complaints other have made as well, however I think it's important to always keep in mind that Worf and Kor are Klingons. Despite what sometimes happens on Trek (deep down, everyone's human) if we give due credit to different species being actually different than us then two Klingons trying to kill each other - even in a petty way - can't be interpreted within the same moral framework as if it was two humans. If a human tries to kill another over some object, yeah we could call that person "horrible" (although I wouldn't). But for a Klingon? I think the most aggressive condemnation would be that it was cowardly, or dishonorable, but 'behaving like children' isn't exactly an attitude that seems to bother Klingon honor for the most part.

That being said, I do think that we basically have to make one of two decisions: the thing was cursed, or else the writers took a departure from reality and miswrote two characters. I guess my head canon goes with the first, and strangely when I rewatch the episode my "sense alarm" doesn't really ever go off. Maybe it's because I've already adopted the head canon years ago; I'm not sure. On paper this sounds like a big plot problem, but in viewing I don't find that it hampers the story much to worry about why they're behaving strangely.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 4:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

I should have proofread that post. A bit rushed today, sorry.
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Circus Man
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

I don't think the options need to be drawn as starkly as "act this second" and "wait until we reach the Federation." We see in "The Measure of a Man" and "The Drumhead" that command level Starfleet officers have legal training, so why not assign Chakotay or someone to represent Tuvix at some sort of tribunal? Is it not in Janeway's own best interest to secure legal validation of her controversial decisions?
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 4:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

Okay, a little more backstory before we get into this one. First, allow me to repeat what I wrote about Worf in his re-introduction, as this is the first S4 story since WotW conceived with him in mind:

“Worf himself is was an excellent example of what multiculturalism means in the Federation. He was educated about Klingon honour and warrior culture—and certainly had the natural temperament to match—but he wasn't *indoctrinated* with it. He was able to parse out the symbols and artefacts of his culture which gave him identity, while still conforming to the ethics of the Federation...This is not to say that Worf was flawless. His personal history with the Romulans, much like Picard's with the Borg, led to some questionable choices in episodes like 'The Enemy'...Then along came 'Birthright'...which caused serious damage to Worf's character...Worf, upon meeting a group of young Klingons who, like him, were NOT indoctrinated by Klingon silliness, becomes a hardline conservative Klingon-values man, and doubles down on his racism towards Romulans...This crap is re-enforced soon after in 'Rightful Heir,' which establishes that Worf isn't just spiritual (which is fine), he's explicitly religious, not to mention absurdly credulous. After all the craziness he has seen on the Enterprise (“Where Silence Has Lease” comes to mind), the appearance of a Kahless clone is enough to turn Worf into a zealot.”

Next: while, Kor had some memorable lines in “Blood Oath,” that story wasn't really about him. That story could have worked with three theretofore unheard of Klingons of old (although it certainly would have been less effecting). Now, however, we are going to be doing a bit of character study. So let's talk about “Errand of Mercy” (a four-star episode, in my book, FYI). For my money, Kor is actually a more effective foil for Kirk than Kahn. His ruthlessness is perfectly captured in his verbal dismantling of illustrious captain:

KOR: The fact is, Captain, I have a great admiration for your Starfleet. A remarkable instrument. and I must confess to a certain admiration for you...You of the Federation, you are much like us.
KIRK: We're nothing like you. We're a democratic body.
KOR: Come now. I'm not referring to minor ideological differences. I mean that we are similar as a species. Here we are on a planet of sheep. Two tigers, predators, hunters, killers, and it is precisely that which MAKES US GREAT [shudder]. And there is a universe to be taken.

As has been discussed before, in the TOS era, the Federation was an analog for the United States and the Klingons for the USSR (duh). However, with TNG and continued human evolution (c.f. “The Neutral Zone”)–saying nothing of the fall of the Berlin Wall—that analogy becomes largely irrelevant by the time we get to DS9. What makes Kor so compelling, especially in his interactions with Kirk, is his ability to ferret out hypocrisies within our protagonist. Kor himself is very comfortable with his methods (imperialism, torture, war), whereas Kirk believes the rhetoric of democracy makes him immune to such evils. He describes himself as “a solider, not a diplomat,” emblematic of the differences between the 23rd and 24th century Starfleets. Indeed, Picard seems more like Ayelborne than like Kirk.

Conventionalisations, I should say.

Teaser : **.5, 5%

Kor is again aboard DS9, telling tall tales about his TOS-era glory days to a captured audience in Quark's bar. Quark isn't very impressed, but Worf is particularly enraptured, but too in awe of the old master to engage with him personally. Dax pokes a few holes in his story, but of course, the details don't really matter to Kor, what matters is the moral of the story, which is that Kor kicked everyone's ass and ate the the heart of T'Nag. Jadzia takes it upon herself to make Worf really uncomfortable, per her idiom, but introducing him to Kor directly. Worf thinks his disgrace in light of siding against Gowron will dishonour the old story-teller, but Kor is no fan of Gowron himself. It turns out Kor is on a quest for the legendary Sword of Kahless (title drop), which he quite loudly and drunkenly announces to Worf and the rest of the bar. Worf believes that the return of this artefact would change the course of Klingon history. How, isn't specified, but post-”Birthright” Worf isn't particularly concerned with making sense. As I said, he's been transformed into a credulous zealot, so attach some vague Klingon mysticism to the artefact, and Worf is all over that nonsense. He invites himself (respectfully) on Kor's little quest. Oh and Jadzia is going along, too. In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. As in “Blood Oath,” she wants to apply some, you know, science and reason to their adventure. Kor asks her to confirm the authenticity of the sword's shroud which Kor happens to have in his possession.

As he stumbles him drunk ass back to his quarters, Kor is assaulted by a Lethian who steals some information from him. So, I guess we're in for another medical drama plot.

Act 1 : ***, 18%

Well, instead of entering another Menosky head-games script, Kor just awakens to the chiming of his door, believing himself to be hung-over. Didn't “Distant Voices” establish that Lethian attacks were usually deadly? Oh no! Continuity violated! Bad show. Bad show. While Kor slept on his floor, Jadzia has confirmed that the shroud is *probably* authentic. So they're off! But not before Jadzia get's Elrond—I mean Sisko's blessing. Turns out the shroud was recovered in the GQ.

WORF: The Hur'q invaded our homeworld over one thousand years ago. Whatever they could not pillage, they destroyed. They took the Sword and my people have been searching for it ever since. It is said its return will bring back a new era of glory for the Klingon Empire. With the Sword, the Emperor will be able to unite my people again.

“It is said” by WHOM, Worf? I get so frustrated by these crap. Read actual mythology and you will see that prophecies are proclaimed by specific beings with specific agendas, because mythology is meant to be revelatory about ideals, morality, etc. Here, it's just treated like some arbitrary plot contrivance. The Sword will unite the Klingon people because I fucking said so. Well, Sisko sees the upside in the Federation helping the Klingons recover an important relic, contrivances aside. Of course, this is bound to piss Gowron the fuck off, but never mind logic; give that man a runabout!

Before they enter the wormhole, Kor is careful to preface their adventure with legendary rhetoric. There is something kind of sweet about his need to couch himself in the trappings of an adventure. Later while he rests, Dax and Worf make small talk. It's interesting that, after grappling with her beliefs in “Blood Oath,” Jadzia seems to view Kor as an anachronism. She finds the Dahar master endearing, but doesn't really take all his posturing about legend seriously. She's humouring him out of affection but no longer seems to actually take all this Klingon crap very seriously. I;d call this very positive character development for Dax. Then there's Worf who can't seem to see that behind the legend, Kor is an old man well past his days of influence. Kor awakens and recalls his dream to the pair, where the Sword has brought Kang and Koloth back to life in the presence of the Emperor himself. Dax seems to recognise what the Sword means for her friend, a way to re-capture the glory of the past.

They arrive at the Hur'q homeworld and narrow their search to a chamber protected by a force field. Dax is able, with minimal effort, to technobabble her way through, something the Vulcan survey team was unable to manage. Yeah...that sounds like Vulcans. They enter the chamber and learn that someone has already ransacked it, taking all the stolen Klingon artefacts with them.

Act 2 : **.5, 18%

While Kor feels sorry for himself...I mean the empire, Dax and Worf discover evidence of a second, more secret chamber. Using the magic of SCIENCE, the trio enters and discovers the Sword, still backlit after ten centuries because...anyway, Worf allows Kor to take hold of the artefact. Their victory is short-lived however, as they are confronted by Duras' son, Pipsquea'Q. It seems that at Kor has boasted about his quest in bars across the galaxy, prompting the employ of the Lethian. The trio are able to subdue them and escape, but Worf is injured in the process. A jamming signal is preventing the trio from beaming back to the runabout, but Kor's grandstanding is starting to become a liability.

DAX: Kor, go make sure no one's following us.
KOR: Did you see the face of that Klingon that I killed? It was as if he understood the honour bestowed upon him. The first man in a thousand years to be killed by the Sword of Kahless.

As they walk through the tunnels, Kor questions how Worf could have spared Pipsquea'Q's life in “Redemption,” you remember, in the days before his character had been assassinated. Despite Jadzia's claim that Kor is not “like most Klingons,” his attitude is very much the same of a typical Klingon in balking at this mercy. After all, if Worf had been a good little Klingon and killed the boy, Kor's drunken ramblings wouldn't have gotten Worf stabbed. You THINK about what you did. Jadzia chastises her friend for being so cruel, but Kor is being especially hard-headed. This is rather disappointing, as Kor's gifts are in disarming his opponent through pointing out hypocrisies (this was true in “Blood Oath” in his dialogue with Kang, as well as with Kirk in EoM). His attitude here is just sort of generically Klingon, posturing and senseless.

Act 3 : *.5, 18%

The trio slay a small cave-cat thing and eat it around a fire (much like the Torri in “Faces”). Kor is already cooking up ways to embellish the story.

WORF: A true warrior has no need to exaggerate his feats.
KOR: You'd better hope that I exaggerate or when they start singing songs about this quest, they'll come to your verse and it will be, and Worf came along.

So much for Kor preferring friends who don't smile much. Also, exaggerating is one thing, but whence this contempt for Worf? Would he have so easily cut out Koloth's and Kang's contributions to their adventures? Kor certainly doesn't hesitate to kill people, but it's always for a reason. You'd think he'd have some empathy for Worf's choice to spare the Son of Duras. Despite being out of character, Kor does make a valid point in his argument with Worf. The Emperor is a fucking clone and Worf was wrong to support him and the Klingon clerics. They both believe that whoever wields this Sword will “unite” the houses of the empire—still no word on how. Worf will give it to nuKahless but Kor is starting to think he'll just do this himself. Think of how big his statue will be if he did all that!

While Jadzia changes his bandage, Worf expresses his concern over the man not living up to the legend. So, basically Worf's reasoning is that, while a clone of Kahless is so worthy of honour that he should be granted a status that throws Klingon society backward to a more theocratic and monarchic state than it already suffered from, ceding power to Kor would be a big mistake because, hey, he drinks too much and exaggerates. Nothing Klingon about that. Oh, and to top it off, since apparently the Sword is NOT powerful enough to deliver control unto nuKahless, Worf will just have to seize power for himself. How did he reach this conclusion? Well, hold on to your butts for the asspull of all retcons here: it turns out that retarded vision that was alluded to in “Rightful Heir” about Worf doing amazing things and what not wasn't about THAT plot, but THIS one. And next week, when Worf gets turned into a Bond villain, THAT will be his glorious destiny, and when he punches a Klingon lawyer in the face, THAT will be his glorious destiny...see, now that Worf has been transformed into a credulous, gullible zealot, no stupid plan is beyond his scope.

Act 4 : .5 stars, 13% (very short)

Kor has overheard Worf's mad ramblings as the trio reach a dangerous chasm. Kor, slips and of course, ends up holding onto dear life by the handle of the Sword itself, the other end grasped by Worf. While it should be pretty easy for him and Jadzia to pull him up together, Worf insists that Kor has to let go and be rescued by a ledge below him that may or may not exist. Kor isn't about to let go or allow Worf to assume power, so yeah, they pull him up. They get all alpha male and begin fighting over the damned thing. Dax offers to play Switzerland and carry the Sword herself, but not before confirming that Worf nearly let the old man die for his ambition. Both Worf and Kor taunt each other like childish morons while Dax tries to get some fucking sleep.

Act 5 : *, 18%

Before this idiocy can continue, the trio are finally confronted by Pipsquea'Q's men and there's a brief battle. While they successfully fight them off, Kor and Worf are quickly at each other's throats over possession of the Sword. So Dax shoots them both. Good. She forces Pipsquea'Q to unblock their signal to the runabout.

In the epilogue, Kor and Worf determine DESTINY has determined that they should throw the magic sword back into space and let some other people find the damned thing. More bullshit about destiny and a complete lack of taking accountability for their actions, and it's over.

Episode as Functionary : *.5, 10%

As usual, DS9's greatest strengths are in drawing on continuity. Here, threads from a TOS story and a TNG story unite to provide a sequel to a S2 DS9 story. Ferrel, Dorn and especially Colicos put in strong performances, the set pieces and battles were handled pretty well I think. But holy shit does this story fall off the rails after the second act.

The idea of a corrupting influence, the adventure-tale mythology angle and all that, wasn't a bad one at all. “Blood Oath” had the air of a popcorn adventure as well. But that story used the veneer of an adventure story to reveal things about Jadzia and draw a contrast between the promises of legends and the realities of cold-blooded murder. It may not seem obvious, but what ruins this story is exactly what ruined “Sub Rosa.” Transposing a genre into Star Trek requires a very deft hand. There are no such things as ghosts, so, whatever, just call it an anaphasic lifeform and be done with it! Use all the same trappings and clichés of Gothic stories but with a really lame sci-fi band-aid over the genre-discrepancies. This approach completely ignores WHY Gothic stories can be so resonant—the ghosts are a way of discussing the psychology of the protagonists. They are symbolic. Something similar applies to the mystical objects in quest mythology. Such objects *represent* something sociological or psychological. Their magical abilities are analogies for the forces which drive human beings to behave in certain ways. That magic absolutely NEEDED to be present with the Sword of Kahless in order for this story to work, because otherwise, the potential for craven mad power-grabs would have to be present within Worf's and Kor's characters well before this episode. So either we take this episode at face value and assume that Worf and Kor have always been completely irredeemable assholes, or we head-canon some sci-fi whatever properties onto the Sword to patch together this insanity.

The interactions between post-Sword Worf and Kor are extremely unpleasant to watch. Neither seems remotely in character and Worf's actions in particular are rather unforgivable. I cannot believe the episode didn't include some sort of reckoning between the two regarding their horrible behaviour. The only character who doesn't come out of this story looking awful is Dax, whose frustrations with her Klingon idiots captures the audience POV quite well.

Final Score : **
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 3:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

@William B

Yes, I fully agree. I don't think the Doc did it deliberately. I think the ep writers did it deliberately.
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William B
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

"I actually think the scene in "Author, Author," where holo- Janeway executes a crewman in sickbay so Doc can treat two other "more important" crew members, is a reference to what happens in this ep."

I hadn't thought of that, but that's great. If so, though, it might not have been fully "conscious" on the Doc's part (quotes because -- do conscious/subconscious etc. apply to the Doc as a hologram?), because he also says something to her in that ep like, "Last I checked, you haven't executed any of my patients," in order to point out that the holonovel was not entirely based on the "real people" in Doc's life, and I didn't get the impression that he was being sarcastic or disingenuous. So I think that he was not deliberately making this point...though perhaps he was making that point, though he wasn't fully aware of it.

I think the coolest interpretation might be something like...consciously, the Doctor was drawing on his experiences from Critical Care, in that hospital system, to show what kind of medical ethics nightmares the "player" in the holonovel might encounter. But some part of him was also drawing on his buried horror at Janeway's decision "Tuvix," and that's why it both "felt" real for the Doctor to write a Janeway-analogue this way, while he was also overtly, and I think sincerely, claiming to Janeway that it's not about her. Which I think is a lot of how that holonovel plays -- the Doc was both saying things he believes to be true about the crew, and getting out some of his pent-up frustrations from when he was much more powerless, but at the same time in denial to himself about how much it's actually about them.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 3:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Well, the things you point out, @Circus Man, are precisely what I meant by worms.

Yes, Janeway makes Tuvix a Lt, you're right. I had forgotten that. I guess she had the power to do that, she did it with B'Ellana, e.g.

So if she accepts him as a full member of the crew, and he accepts that he is under her command, then we're back to what constitutes due process in the Delta Quadrant. I dunno. Basically, the Captain is in charge until they reach port. What due process should he invoke? Insist on staying Tuvix until they reach home 20 - 70 yrs later?

He hasn't been accused of a crime, so it would be as it was for Data, determining if Tuvix is truly an individual with rights who shouldn't be "dismantled," and further, with the right to keep Janeway from reviving Tuvok and Neelix (an important aspect not present with the Data situation).

If they'd been in the Alpha quadrant, or communicating with them, that would have been the way to go - have a Data-like hearing. But they're not.

So the choice is "leave Tuvok and Neelix in oblivion for who knows how long (likely many years)", or "make a decision now."

I disagree with you on the notion that their was no reason to make the decision quickly. The longer Tuvix stayed around, the more attachments would be made between Tuvix and the crew, the more Tuvok and Neelix would miss out on part of their lives, the longer they'd have to make due with one person instead of two.

I don't know what a Talaxian lifespan is, or how long Tuvix might realistically live, but even if he could easily live the years it might take to go home (or finally make solid contact with Star Fleet), that's a lot of years to take off Tuvok and Neelix's life.

Say Joe is the innocent recipient of Sam's heart, given to him by a dastardly, unscrupulous doctor. If Sam's family finds out, as Sam lies dying on a heart machine, can they insist on taking the heart back, even though it will kill Joe?

Well, I dunno.

Janeway is in a terrible situation. She does her best. I thought the ep handled it all very well. It's such a nutty premise, I was impressed that it turned out as well as it did, due in large part to a great performance by the Tuvix actor.

But it's not just about whether Tuvix should stay alive. It's also about whether Tuvok and Neelix should stay dead.

I actually think the scene in "Author, Author," where holo- Janeway executes a crewman in sickbay so Doc can treat two other "more important" crew members, is a reference to what happens in this ep.

I need to rewatch this ep sometime, as I'd love to do an in depth analysis of it, but well . . . I adopted a 4 yr old. She's trying to get on my lap as we speak. :)
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Circus Man
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Shouldn't be "unaware" in that last sentence. One other thing: you say "To me, Tuvix is more like some random alien who beamed aboard." But doesn't the fact that he is given a job and uniform point in a different direction? If an alien popped up on the ship but then was given a Starfleet commission because of its exploitable skills and commitment to the ship's mission, oughtn't that package to also include some level of protection against summary execution?
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

I appear to be in the minority in that I quite like this episode. I never saw it on first broadcast, and only came across it once I had the DVDs. I always assumed that Alixis had recruited like-minded people to form her colony, so when the ship "crashed" and they had to survive, they were already more than willing to apply her philosophy. And over time the whole thing took on the characteristics of a cult, where rules are followed even when it means harsh punishment or death, and the leader always gets what she wants, even no doors.

I quite like seeing Sisko and O'Brien thrown into this nightmare scenario and try to survive until rescue arrives. Sisko shows he will not be broken by all of Alixis's various tricks, and O'Brien's friendship with a fellow engineer and his ability to improvise save the day. A solid episode all around.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel


Brooks’ first great performance I think is in “The Nagus”. (minor spoiler) It’s not even a Sisko episode, but he makes the B story one of the best of its kind.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Starship Down

You know, I remember the order being different on Netflix, but didn't think anything of it.

I looked at wikipedia's list of episodes, and they have "Starship Down" airing first, with the earlier production code, but they give "Little Green Men" the earlier Stardate.

"Memory Alpha" also lists "Starship Down" with the earlier air date.

However, I noticed that the wikipedia page of "Little Green Men" had a link to a page showing ratings of DS9 episodes for season 4:

And yes, they show "Little Green Men" was first!

So I think we're in one of those episodes where somebody changed history and for some technobabble reason nobody else knows it's been altered.

(As an aside, those ratings look ridiculously big compared to what shows get today...the weakest episode of the season got a 5.1, and most shows got at least a 6!).
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 10:30am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

Again trying the "while watching" commentary, without reading review or comments:

Love O'Brien and having worked in IT, love this bit about the overworked techie. Yep.

Lots of complaining in this ep so far. And making others do things. Odo and Quark are amusing together. Maybe I'll be able to tolerate Quark.

My, how easy it is for Quark to bypass security. A typical Treky plot device, so I won't add to the complaining.

Ok. So they've been sabotaged! By the Cardassians?? This doesn't seem like their style.

Jake is sick! Send Brooks to acting school, his degree from the Shatner School just isn't doing the job.

A slow, quiet ep so far, but keeps my interest. Brooks doing better here in his second encounter with sick Jake.

Jaheel's ship is too stressed to release. Been there, done that.

Pico and Quark wishing treachery vote nightstand. Quill kid unnoticed confused no cart? Hog.

Whew. They found the antidote just in time! I'm better now.

Love O'Brien.

A decent ep, enjoyable.
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 8:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

This episode is excellent in my opinion, though the ending is admittedly a little odd.

High point, though, has to be Sisko's amazing deadpan sarkiness when Bashir tells him Garak says he needs a runabout: "Oh? Will just one runabout be enough?"
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Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 4:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

2-2.5 stars

Not a big fan of The Bashir character. He’s kinda dull and can grate on me like nails on a chalkboard. The acting in this episode wasn’t that great either

The only really interesting part of the episode was the introduction of section 31 and the subsequent chat in holodeck once ruse was exposed. The rest of the episode felt like assembled from better done TNG mystery shows like Future Imperfect or Ship in a Bottle. This time with the crew’s odd behavior and Miles’ shoulder giving it away

Yes it did an admirable job tying together bits and pieces from earlier episodes to incriminate Bashir but wasn’t very riveting

like a lot of DS9’s mythological pieces , Section 31’s initial introduction was lackluster but would go on to be out to better use later on.
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Sean Hagins
Mon, Nov 19, 2018, 4:30am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

First, the episode-the Doctor getting Seven to feel anger was SO wrong! He talks of how unhealthy it is to suppress emotions-such negative emotions as vindictiveness, and anger of that sort SHOULD be suppressed! It amazes me how wrong the writers get this!

Now, for the people who say how the guest character probably was guilty because he took such an extreme reaction, I have to say this: he explained that his societies economics is based on trade with alien cultures to the point that the magistrate would likely side against him anyway. I can understand this because of my job-I am a youth sports photographer. If someone accused me of inappropriate conduct with the kids, it would disturb me greatly because in our society this is so prevalent that a lot of people might assume I was guilty even if I know I am not. Now, I probably wouldn't have such a reaction because I rely upon God for help, but in this secular society of Star Trek, I can see someone totally panicking the way the main character did and assume he would be locked up without a real chance to defend himself (or at least his career would be ruined)

I actually do believe he was totally innocent
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