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Boaty McBoatface
Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 11:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

I also think they missed an important opportunity to connect with the events of paradise lost/homefront arc. As other people here have pointed out they even brought the character from Red Squad who ratted out their participation in Admiral Leyton's false flag plot, so it seems like the writers and casting team consciously planned to incorporate this into the story but failed to ultimately deliver it in the script. It would have been great to have Jake say to Nog "Hey, remember that time Red Squad was instrumental in bringing down the power grid on earth? They are fanatical to the point where they don't think and you shouldn't trust them..." I think this would have been effective and made sense especially since both Jake and Nog were present on Earth when that storyline unfolded.
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Boaty McBoatface
Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

I thought some elements of the story were really clunky and didn't work well. For instance, early in the story you see all the crew wearing phasers. I get that they are trapped behind enemy lines, but they are also trying to emulate Starfleet officers. It may be military tradition to carry sidearms in the world today, but Starfleet is an organization that has a storied reputation for scientific discovery and significant aspirational goals of achieving peaceful unity. Starfleet officers rarely walk around armed outside of security type roles or specific mission requirements. It also is shown right when the conflict between Jake and Waters is beginning so you say to yourself "Oh I see what the writers are doing, they are going to pull phasers on Jake or Nog or both at some point in this episode". Beyond that, if they are going to bother strapping phasers, wouldn't they take the time to strap tricorders as well? Weren't they experiencing pretty serious technical issues with this ship that caused them to be stranded behind enemy lines in the first place? Speaking of those issues, does it seem realistic that leadership would leave the engineer to manage the warp speed crisis for months with literally no sign of progress without providing additional support or micromanaging the problem or at least trying to look into what the hell is taking so long? And for all the Captain's talk of "rising to the occasion" his pick for chief engineer sure seems willing to defer to Nog at the first opportunity without any objections or questions about Nog's plan or attempt to preserve his own position or even to defend his own work. His "to hell with it I suck at this job anyway" attitude rings really hollow and works against the ambition that the writers are trying to imbue in these characters. All of these elements detract from the story itself, and the performance of the First Officer and to a lesser extent the operations officer seem stilted and serve to undermine the otherwise excellent performances by the Captain and Chief Petty Officer.
That said, the episode is most successful where it explores contrast. For instance, after Valiant goes boom there is a scene where the camera focuses on the Defiant bridge. You see an unnamed Lt at the helm and he exudes this aura of calm, professional competence that can only be achieved through experience. I really liked this scene because it effectively spells out the deficits with Valiant's crew whilst telegraphing the tragedy that these otherwise talented people were robbed of the opportunity to realize their aspirations through their missteps and inexperience (with the exception of the CPO who survives).
I think most of the criticisms mentioned on this forum have merit but have been overstated, and for all its flaws this is still a good episode, especially considering the level of controversy and dialogue that it produced here decades after being dropped on the air.

@springy

I thought your comments about Jadzia's experience versus Valiant's crew were spot on.
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Machias
Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

At a recent convention an audience member mentioned she had a podcast that discussed all of the plot points of Voyager and analyzed them, much like many of these reviews have turned out to be. The audience member was asking a question of Kate Mulgrew at the time, and she looked back incredulously and asked "why would you do this"?

I just watched this episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've seen better, I've seen a lot worse, but this is a well done episodes. Sometimes you have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the presentation for what it is.

Machias out.
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HackFarlane
Tue, Sep 3, 2019, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

Retrocontinuity? -- I don't care.

Blatant rejection of continuity to serve the plot? -- I don't care.

Focusing this episode on a guest character we've never seen before (who apparently had an important friendship with Kim, who's never mentioned her), instead of an already-established redshirt that we actually have seen? -- I don't care.

"In the past three years, Voyager has jumped through the quadrant to the tune of 40,000 light-years. Are you telling me that Ballard took her shuttle and found Voyager half a quadrant away in only six months?" -- That's a good point, but I still don't care. The Delta Quadrant is shown to be littered with spatial anomalies and wormholes anyway.

An alien race that "reproduces" by reanimating the corpses of other races? -- Now *that* is an appallingly stupid idea, even for science fiction, even in a universe with warp drive, transporters, and plenty of extraterrestrials that look just like humans.

Even if you grant that the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode "The Chase" [SPOILERS!!!!!!!]
offered the explanation that one alien race millions of years ago seeded their DNA throughout the galaxy, and that's why humanoid species always seem so "compatible," [END SPOILER]

changing a corpse's DNA and physiology at the molecular level to make them look like you, and then reanimating said corpse, in order to "reproduce" is ridiculous.


OK, such a species wouldn't have always reproduced that way. Something had to have happened on their planet--a disaster that caused mass sterilization. (Otherwise, a species that "reproduces" in this manner would have had to instantly be aware that there is intelligent life in the galaxy and have immediate access to their corpses. ) They're obviously gifted scientists/doctors.

But how could their population be possibly sustainable for even a few years by using this method? Just how many people of all these different neighboring species launch their dead into space pods, that just "happen" to enter Kobaldy space? Those are some great odds. Do the Kobaldy enter orbit around neighboring planets and beam up the recently deceased from their graves? That strikes me as woefully inefficient to say the least, and what about another species that is wise to them? They'd probably make sure their dead are cremated or vaporized on the spot.

Nothing in this show reveals that the Kobaldy are acting out of existential desperation--in fact, if they had been shown to be an endangered race, it may have been easier for the crew to empathize with their eerie way of doing things. But no, reanimating the dead is treated as "well, this how we've always done it." That is just painfully ill-conceived fantasy.

"Ashes to Ashes" is dumb simply because its plot conceits are so laughable. That it features Garrett Wang and Kim Rhodes, two of the worst actors to ever darken STAR TREK: VOYAGER's doorstep, doesn't help. But if the main character had been Torres or the Doctor, this episode would still be ridiculous. There are far better ways to tell "second chance," "Fish out of water" and "caught between two cultures" stories. With far superior ones out there, this is just a waste of time. Skip it!
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

Armus cracks me up. This episode is actually fairly entertaining because of him--he's just such an irredeemably evil bastard that you almost root for him. For bonus points, he was even created that way! His only regret about killing Tasha Yar was that she didn't suffer enough before dying. Yikes. The fact that he's such an unbelievable, over-the-top asshole almost creates an amusing campiness here.

I also liked how arbitrary Tasha's death was. Before 24 came along, deaths like these were fairly shocking--a main character isn't supposed to die like this, only redshirts. I wonder if, when this episode aired in 1987 or 1988, before the Internet was a big thing, was the audience even aware that Denise Crosby was leaving the show? I know there were probably UseNet boards, but I'm guessing the average audience member may have been blindsided and had no idea that Yar was about to be killed off.

Showing the immediate aftermath of her death as a conference in the observation lounge was a good choice--we see that it was a punch to the gut for these officers, except for stoic Worf and Data of course.

Leaving Armus alone for eternity (supposedly) seemed to be a justifiable sentence for him, as much as many would rather see him blown to smithereens. With nobody ever to screw with, his entire reason for being is moot, and he'll have to live with that forever.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Booming said:

"@DLPB
Well look who got triggered here.
Oh believe what you want but an endless amount of studies have proven these tendencies beyond a reasonable doubt.

I also promised myself that I wouldn't discuss certain matters with people who have no background in sociology or political science and that obviously includes you. "


Booming, it seems like you are the one who's been triggered (yet again). After you rant, you always seem to apologize a couple of comments later once you're in a better place, or back on your meds, or whatever, to say something to the effect of, "Oh, I know I can get angry sometimes," or "I didn't mean to come across as arrogant." Why don't you take a few deep breaths, count to ten, or wait a day, before replying from now on?

And by flaunting your sociology credentials and promising yourself "that I wouldn't discuss certain matters with people who have no background in sociology or political science ," you sound like one of those posts from the Reddit "I'm so smart" discussions, just begging to be ridiculed. You can learn a lot from the opinions of other people, which you should know as a "sociologist." We have a saying here in America--if you're the smartest person in the room, find another room.
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Machias
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

One of the things I've always enjoyed about this episode is the Janeway-Chakotay "coffee commercial" near the end. The dialog and the cadence of the delivery is straight out of 1970s era coffee commercial. Cracks me up.

And Janeway is right, coffee is the finest organic suspension ever devised. Coffee. Black.
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HackFarlane
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

I am also one of the voices on this board that actually prefers Dr. Pulaski over Dr. Crusher. She and Picard had a great dynamic, and I really love, unabashedly, what they did with Pulaski and Worf, after Worf got "the Klingon measles" in an episode near the end of the second season.

"Unnatural Selection" was a great vehicle for Pulaski and for Diana Muldaur. We got to see Pulaski's foibles and stubbornness but also her warmth for humanity. She even apologizes to Data while she's on the shuttle with him, which I thought was a nice little touch of dialogue. I think everyone involved really made an effort to create a well-rounded character in Dr. Pulaski, and I would have liked to see more of her.

As for the continuity issues raised in this episode, specifically in regards to, "How could the Federation allow Darwin Station to experiment like this, considering what happened with Khan and the Eugenic Wars," I will simply chalk it up to this episode taking place in an alternate universe where the Eugenics Wars never happened, and there never was a Khan Noonien Singh.

Also, I can't explain why, but I cracked up at the arrogant, snotty Dr. Kingsley who oozed contempt and snapped at Picard through the viewscreen. She's exactly the type of haughty, vicious scientist-with-a-God-complex that would run a station and experiments like this. It was a nice touch that she knew who Pulaski was, because of that "Linear Models of Viral Propagation" paper that Pulaski wrote.

I'm conflicted on the transporter solution at the end. In its favor, we really don't know how the science behind it works, because, frankly, it's preposterous. But as it is, I can wrap my head around a system that converts matter into energy, and then recreates the matter after traveling through subspace to another location, being able to reform "another version" of the subject by superimposing a trace pattern. (I'm not sure if that even made any sense, but it's no harder to believe than warp drive. ) I can even forgive this can-of-worms being ignored in future episodes and movies because it was shown to be incredibly risky--they almost lost Pulaski, so it doesn't strike me as something that anyone would want to risk attempting again. And besides, if this episode took place in an alternate timeline, there are plenty of parallel universes where it never happened, so it wouldn't be brought up in a future show as a solution anyway.

However, I do understand the criticisms that the solution was an overly-simple, ridiculous deus-ex-machina and that they could have come up with something more inventive.

Also, it seems to me that they should have heard of space suits or even simpler Haz-Mat suits, but I know--Paramount budgets. I also think the message of the episode was simplistic and obvious. But I do like how it showcased the Picard/Pulaski dynamic; Muldaur and Stewart were both marvelous.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

I agree with Strejda. Of course Rick Berman & Brannon Braga wrote this. One of them actually admitted to an interviewer that he has an ongoing fantasy of crawling up into a giant woman's vajayjay. I'd say "A Night in Sickbay" makes a lot more sense in that context.
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Machias
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

I really enjoyed this episode. I understand there were some plot holes along the way but honestly, it's a good Star Trek episode to escape into. If you have to, pretend it's a holonovel gone rogue. Turn the safety off. Occasionally we all have to escape.
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HackFarlane
Fri, Aug 16, 2019, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

"But to engage in a moment of levity for a moment, not only does Data use contractions in the episode (“I’m” and “you’ve”), but he does so immediately after reminding everyone that he can’t. It’s almost like they did it on purpose to be playful or something."

Joe Menta, I'm inclined to agree with you. I think they did it as a running gag or Easter egg. The same thing happened in the first-season episode "Datalore." In that show, one of the explicit ways to tell the difference between Data and Lore was that Lore used contractions. It was a plot point in the final act. But at the end of the episode, there's Data on the bridge after Lore had been beamed away, and yes, Data uses a contraction. Amusing!

Of course you could always argue that the final scene takes place after a shift to an alternate universe where Data is able to use contractions as liberally as humans do. Haha.
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HackFarlane
Fri, Aug 16, 2019, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Parallels

DidWorf?:

"Did worf return to the correct Enterprise though? At the beginning of the episode it starts out with worf receiving a surprise party but at the end of the episode troi said she knows how he hates surprises and talked riker out of throwing one for worf.

If it was the same universe then shouldn't events unfolded the same?"


DidWorf?, I think it was established that Worf started enterting parallel universes before he even returned to the Enterprise, during his shuttle trip. Therefore, the first time we see him on the Enterprise, having his surprise party that Riker threw despite telling him, "I hate surprise parties!" as a prank, he is already on a "wrong" Enterprise in terms of this story. So at the end, the intimate party he was with Troi is the "correct" universe.

That being said, I'm a firm believer that every continuity error and "canon violation" in STAR TREK shows can be easily dismissed by assuming that the episode or film in question takes place in an alternate universe/timeline. This exact episode, "Parallels," defines this concept beautifully. It's an easy way to counter paltry arguments about STAR TREK continuity errors or altered character development (I.E., Captain Janeway's "bipolar" personality changes). And it's no more hard to believe than warp drive, transporters, or DNA "resequencing."
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HackFarlane
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

I have no trouble believing that the Rutledge's crew could be in agreement with Maxwell's plan. This is a battle-hardened crew that probably had experiences during the Kardashian war that mirrored O'Brien's. O'Brien even starts to stick up for Maxwell early in the episode before Picard cuts him off. Loyalty like that is hard to come by, as Picard even says to Gul Macet at the end. On the Rutledge, it also appears that Maxwell was a lot more "chummy" with the lower ranks than Picard is. He's more of a friend to the crew than a distant leader.

The Enterprise-D apparently didn't see much action in the war, unless this episode takes place in an alternate timeline/universe, of course. It's a luxury liner, whereas the Rutledge is a sparse tactical vessel with a crew of maybe a hundred at most. Things would be a lot different on that ship, especially with a war-weary crew. I figure the crew was with Maxwell all along and would never have voiced an objection to the captain that had kept them alive all those years in the war.

However, it's also possible that the Rutledge crew was starting to mutiny behind the scenes as Maxwell became unhinged after meeting with Picard. The Rutledge was turned over to its first officer for the trip back, meaning that the Enterprise could probably trust that the crew would accompany them back to the starbase properly.

Either way, it doesn't strike me as a plot hole at all.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

Clearly this episode wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. It was fun to see The Doctor's smugroutines on overdrive and Robert Picardo really sold it--he was wonderful to watch.

The Doctor's farewell performance of "Rondine al Nido" in the Qomarian opera house was so moving it brought tears to my eyes, which is about the last thing I was expecting. And that look on his face when his replacement started singing Tincoo's obnoxious composition was hysterical and a little heartbreaking too.

To echo a few comments above... I think the awkward, overbearing line delivery by Kamala Lopez-Dawson (Tincoo) and the other actors playing Qomarians was probably intentional. It wasn't "bad acting" so much as trying to make these characters appropriately ridiculous (much like the Pakleds in the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode "Samaritan Snare"). It fit the story.

Not bad at all.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Jul 28, 2019, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Agree 100% with Jammer’s review (the word “sociological” was particularly apt). This might be my favorite episode yet.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Jul 25, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Many STAR TREK: DISCOVERY viewers on this site seem to get their panties in a knot over "established canon" and timelines. What's the big problem? All incarnations of STAR TREK have contained violations of established canon--the issue is not unique to STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.

Is it the Prime Timeline??! The Kelvin Timeline?!! The CBS/Viacom-10%-Has-To-Be-Different-Or-It's-a-Copyright-Violation Timeline??! I couldn't care less.

The STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode "Parallels" provides some great fodder for this issue. All one has to do is assume that every episode with a "canon violation" takes place in a parallel universe, alternate reality, or altered timeline, and all canon arguments can be summarily dismissed. You're welcome.
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JacobTee 7
Wed, Jul 24, 2019, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: The Franchise's Future

Well I felt the same at this point in time bsck in 99. But i wanted to comment after viewing st enterprise in 2011 or so, i felt the 4th season was excellent, and like thd longer story arcs. I think only the ghost story transporter wheel chair bound scientist looking for his son...was it? The only one stand alone on from season 4. Enterprise did the whole war angle in an attempt to kickstart the show in season 3. It was good, but really felt it was not the original plan. Who knows. While i liked s3. I dont think it jumped over a shark. I wondered when is romulan war. ..and had to settle for paperback novels by pocket books there.
Anyways this time frame 1999 is when kay bee had trek dolls on the bargin shelf red penned down real cheap, so i liked that fond memory. I also recall being done with voyager post 1996 with me only watching deep space when it was on.
It only read novels during this time, actually the stream of tos on cbs.com in 08 reawakened my passion for star trek. Entetprise i got up to speed on next, having loved tng, and deep space. Tos movies i grew up with, adored tmp.
Good site...with seven oh nine on the new picard show, i mite watch the voyager again and catch up with her chrachter.
Only know she was sad in the full circle novel or was it unworthly after the borg ate pluto and janeway ...wentv away. Plus she was with chacko or something....books will be all overwritten by the new psuedo alternate 25 percent different trek anyway soon.

Peace.
Jake t. 7
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SlackerInc
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 1:59am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

I think it's a smart move, similar to CBS and Trek. A small but very dedicated audience is much more valuable to a streaming service than to a broadcast network.
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Teacher Will
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 5:20am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Stratagem

"Mission: Impossible" didn't do this first. This plot was first used a few years before "Mission: Impossible", in the excellent 1965 film "36 Hours", starring James Garner and Rod Taylor. Set in the first days of June 1944, a few days before D-Day, Garner plays a top ranking US military officer with knowledge of the details of the upcoming invasion. He is knocked out and captured by the Germans. He awakens in an simulated reality, much like Degra does. This simulation is an "American army hospital" in "1950", and he is told that his condition has caused him to forget the last six years. Rod Taylor (in the Archer position) is the "American" (actually Nazi) doctor who "has been Garner's best friend and physician for years", who wants to "help him get his memories back". Actually, Taylor and the other Germans (everyone at the "hospital" is an English-speaking Nazi) are trying to get Garner to reveal the details of the invasion. They know it will come in the next two or three days, but they need to know the exact day and location. Will it be at Calais, Normandy, somewhere else? This is all set up very early in the film, and openly revealed to the audience from the opening minutes, so I haven't ruined any twists or surprises. I highly recommend this film. Has anyone else here seen it?
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SlackerInc
Mon, Jul 8, 2019, 5:31am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Did anyone notice that in the opening shot it is clearly Earth below them? Specifically Canada and the northern United States. At first I thought this meant we were getting a plot that occurred in the Alpha quadrant but no.

It’s a pity that the debates over these fraught topics occur almost entirely between groups that make themselves strawmen for the other side.

False accusations of rape are not vanishingly rare. They are more common than false reports of other kinds of crime. And my best friend in college had his reputation ruined and dropped out because of just such a false accusation. I know for a fact that it was false because he was 200 miles away with me the whole weekend in question. But if I had not been, I would have always wondered, and despite the narrative we so often hear, the young woman was believed rather than him. And the police went around talking to people but never went back to tell them he had an airtight alibi.

However, we do not live in a society where women actually have all the power and are constantly oppressing men. Nor are anything close to a majority of rape allegations false. The real number is somewhere around five or ten percent, but that is high enough that we have to stick with “innocent until proven guilty” and not just go by the woman’s word without corroborating evidence.

The conservative “red pill” types are terrible evangelists for this message because their rhetoric really does always seem to confirm the accusation from the other side that they are motivated by misogyny.
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Jackson
Sat, Jul 6, 2019, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

So Picard could rush Lwaxana back to Betazed in a few hours at Warp 9, but he coudn't rush Wesley back to Earth, which is in the same "downtown" part of the Federation?

I doubt that the Bradbury was going to rush Wesley to Earth at Warp 9 either.

Quite a bit of absurdity just to cook up a way to make Wesley an acting ensign, when you could just do it anyways because he already does ensign-like things.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Thanks, @Dave! I searched for the episode and added it to the podcatcher on my phone.
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Jack
Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@William B

“I think the main issue with the episode is not in-story but from a writer's perspective, where Maurice Hurley -- whom apparently Gates McFadden quit the show because she felt threatened by”

I wanted to address this, because it’s the type of slander I’ve been talking about that I see in these discussions. For the record, Hurley had already left the show by season two and Jeri Taylor (yes, a woman) rewrote this episode before it aired. Additionally, McFadden didn’t leave the show, Hurley didn’t like her acting so he *fired* her. It wasn’t until after Hurley left that Berman hired her back.
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Jack
Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@Dave

Geordi and Wesley are friends and moreover fellow engineering nerds. Friends share information with each other they don’t share with others. Friends don’t need to be the same age. And if you watched “Sarek”, much of dealt with *hidden feelings* bubbling to the surface.
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Jack
Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Dave, you’re reaching now. Wesley never mentioned Leah and just insinuated LaForge needs the holodeck to meet women.

Even assuming Wesley meant Leah, though, Geordi and Wesley are friends and he probably shared what happened in “Booby Trap” to Wes in confidence.

@Jason R

“Why are you and others so invested in spinning Geordie's behaviour (even to the point of falsely stating what happened on screen) to make it horrible and creepy?”

Probably typical white-knighting. I’m sure if we gender-swapped Geordi/Leah and had a woman create a man to help her with engineering problems in a holodeck, no one would say boo.
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