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Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 12:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box


The impossible box / tan zhekran also reminds me of the device in Nemesis used to unleash thalaron radiation in the Romulan Senate. At least the slow moving opening sequence, if not the puzzle :-)

Anyone else feel that? I am impressed with the deep Trek fan service in this series, very subtle.
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Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 3:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Jammer, thanks as always for remaining reasoned and level-headed. When you (as opposed to some others here, who listen not with their ears but with their mouth) say "It ain't Trek," you make an actual argument for why. You cited the torture and the gore and how it came off as stuff one would find in a snuff film. Your observation that attacking a specific writer is both unfair and a fool's errand has much merit to it - all the more so compared to "arguments" that attack Alex Kurtzmann. Is no one here humble or mere-mortal enough to realize that they do not know what writer, what persom, etc., is responsible for the action, dialogue, and plotting on the show, except you? Also, I have read the dreaded "critics" reviews; they are helpfully aggregated by episode on Rotten Tomatoes. One would think those critics (some of whom make their knowledge of Trek apparent because they can write with clarity) have opinions that are no better and no worse than yours or mine. There are no better or worse opinions - only better-reasoned judgments and less better-reasoned ones. Many people hatw to be reminded of this because they son't like being told dissent from them isn't necessarily "stupidity." Being a fan of Star Trek (however one defines it-either with their "I am right, you are wrong" monopolistic exclusionary definition or otherwise) does not not make one any better a worse a judge of what good drama is. It can serve to verify the "wisdom" of one's beliefs. As Roger Ebert said, "Beliefs, we need to be reminded, are beliefs precisely because they are not facts." And beliefs arent any more "true" because they fall in line with what we think a sacred cow like Godard prophesized. His films can be critcized too and I found the last twenty years' worth to be incomprehensible bores, in significant part. The level of hatred for differing opinions on this site is getting worse. In the past, someone may have made a comment about religion or race that set others off; the comment may ha e been tangentially related to an episode. The hatred now oozes out when someone merely describes an episode. Kurtzman made it, so it must be bad, QED. Once we give own opinions the status of received wisdom, there is no logical limit to how unwelcome and hostile we will be to others who dare to think differently... or to think at all. I would like to think that if people who disagreed with each other on this site, met in real life, that they could at least hold a civil conversation, their having the commonality of being Trek fans, but I'm not so sure.
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Black winter day
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 7:21am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

What a horrible mess of an episode.

To me, this is where Star Trek truly died.

Ok, i get it, in the 80s music was Queen, Dire Straits and Metallica and now its Cardi Bi.

And in the 80 and 90s sci fi/Star Trek was TNG/Voyager and DS9 and now its Discovery and Picard. Long dumb ridiculous and grim shows with retarded scripts, ridiculous action sequences and good special effects, which are the only things the powers that be think the viewers want.

This is not i want from Star Trek. To me, the last real Star Trek was Enterprise. We had a good run, more than 700 episodes, 10 movies.

Its a lot for a franchise and we had some wonderful moments, but it apparently ended at 2005.

I dont know what the hell this is and why it is called "Star Trek", but this is not the Star Trek i know and want to know.
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Picard is Back
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

For most of the series, PS has been playing Picard like himself and not Picard and therefore making it unreal, to those of us who know Picard so well. However, the dialogue between Seven and Picard near the end was the first time PS was playing Picard like Picard. It was the look on his face and his voice, that finally had me sighing "Ahh..... he's back", which I haven't felt the rest of the series.

Otherwise, most solid episode since the premiere.
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Black winter day
Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I really really miss the standalone episodes format of Star Trek with the mysteries to be solved, aliens of the week etc. Yes, it had its flaws, but i enjoyed it far more than the nu-Trek.

My english isnt sufficient to fully expess what i am feeling when i watch STD and STP - Its ok, i dong hate it, but i am never excited about it. The thrill is gone, its just an ok tv, nothing more. I rewatched many brilliant episodes of Trek many times, but never feklt the urge to rewatch any of the Nu Trek.

Even ST-Ent seems brilliant compared to what we get now...

Tv in general got much better in the last decade or so. Star trek has gotten considerably worse.
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The Dirty Mac
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 9:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

One addendum to my last statement: TOS was known for allegory. If Picard tries a little of the same, should we poo-poo? After all, our moral compass here is Jean-Luc Picard! What a vehicle to see the world through!
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The Dirty Mac
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 9:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

The story continues.

Though the "Borg RItual" (sliding across the floor with your shoes off scene) was too cute by half, the story of Soji and Narek does advance. There is now a time limit placed on Narek's method of "romancing" Soji. Soji, in turn, has shown as that she is inquisitive, smart, and won't be played for a fool. Plus, there is also mentioned danger of pushing her too far and "activating her". All good stuff.

The story of Elnor and Picard is told well. They actually acknowledge the fact that the Picard we knew hated kids ("Disaster" anyone?). This elder man sets the record straight. I love the idea of having Picard closely protected by a Romulan Ninja/Assassin/warrior young man. Great dynamic.

It is also great to be seeing a show that is ADDING to the canon of the Prime Universe. Learning so much more about the Romulan culture is akin to us actually learning more about the originally one-dimensional Klingon culture in TNG.

There is no incest. There is only a very seductive Romulan power play afoot (i am thinking of the Romulan Commander in TOS' "Enterprise Incident"). Think of Rizzo as throwing Narek's methods back in his face. Seduce. Is this what you want? Is this what will help reach your goals?"

Rios still kicks ass, and his ego, having every ship hologram programmed as the many versions of himself is a continued experience! Bravo to Santiago Cabrera for pulling off so many characters. Not since Jeffery Combs have we seen a Star Trek character pull off more than two characters in a single episode. The rest of the crew are sophisticated and great additions.

Sevens entrance, though a bit predictive given the time left in the episode, the constant use of the pronouns his/he/etc., and her name being in the opening credits, was terrific. I can't wait to see Jeri Ryan's take on this new, more matured, Human, version of Seven!

It may be blasphemy, along with the cursing, but it is a tad refreshing seeing the Federation as not quit the bastion of righteousness it once was. It is clearly established in the show that Starfleet/The Federation has failed to stand up in a moment of galactic need. When the Romulan star exploded, Starfleet failed. Interesting. Especially if you want to use this as an allegory for America in the age of.... But, I digress.
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The Dirty Mac
Mon, Feb 10, 2020, 9:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Just a couple of comments on Jammer's review:

- Soji does say "Hugh" when speaking with Ramdha. The moment comes and goes quickly, but I did catch it on my first viewing and even thought to myself at the time, "she said Hugh, cool".

- As for Rizzo suddenly appearing on the cube, and in Romulan form, she did tell her brother, I believe in the first episode, that she was coming to the cube. I believe Commodore Oh's orders for Rizzo were to keep an eye on her "guy", which is Narek. So her moving to the cube to oversee his seduction of Soji makes sense.

Final thought on the show itself: I liked it. It held my interest and moved the pieces along competently. The attack on the chateau was great, all the more so for coming out of left field, as Jammer indicated. Rios was interesting from the beginning. I liked Raffi as well, and found a joy in seeing a new character who has her own history with Picard. She may know things about him that we the audience don't even know to be true.

The ship looked cool, though I did miss its name if it was said. Loved seeing a "personalized" version of an EMH. And, I don't mind the slow build at all. If I am being entertained, than what is the complaint? Attention spans have shortened since the days of TNG, to be sure, but if the next seven shows, or majority of them anyway, take place in space, then, in the end, what will all the fuss have been about...

We will see...

Three stars
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Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 3:17am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I'm liking the show, and I like the "focus" on real-world parallels. Romulans fleeing a disaster, versus people fleeing Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. A wealthy society turning its back on, or even criminalizing, refugees. I'm glad Star Trek continues to take on painful issues.
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Toph in Blacksburg
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 7:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Some things that stood out to me after a first watching:

It took me a little while to realize that Picard’s two assistants at the Chateau were Romulans. Nice touch.

I thought that Data’s appearances were well done and very appropriate. I’ll be curious to see if they include him in future episodes somehow.
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Toph in Blacksburg
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Wow. I am really impressed with how this series has started out. A very interesting storyline that picks up some 15 to 20 years after the last time we saw the card and the next generation crew.

I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of the season play out.
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Wed, Dec 18, 2019, 3:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I had to take a Star Trek break for about 8 months because as this season was airing, I also managed to watch the final 3 seasons of TNG and films, and 2 seasons each of DS9 and VOY, so I was a little burnt out.

I just finished watching the entire second half of season 2 in one sitting, and I thought it was alright. Not as strong as the first half of the season, but not as bad as I had been hearing. This episode in particular I felt was fairly strong. I only had a few issues with it. Despite looking quite cool, I thought the Georgiou zero grav fight was kinda dumb, and a little hard to follow. And towards the end when Spock tells Burnham that his ship was damaged and he can't go to the future with her, that whole scene felt out of place because as they're speaking to each other and being all emotional, all I could think about was how many people were dying as they took the time to talk about it.

I thought closing the season in such a definitive way was a very odd choice, but I'm intrigued to see what they do in the future next season. Maybe they'll seek out new life and new civilizations? Fingers crossed.
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Tue, Dec 17, 2019, 9:34am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

I definitely think jammer is too harsh on this one. I wish I could remember why I made a note to check this episode out, because I’m fairly certain it had to do with a discussion on some episode thread somewhere on this site.

Anyway, I thought this started very strong and lost a little steam toward the end, but I would still give it three stars overall.

BTW, Penny Johnson clearly has some anti-aging genes, because she does not look like she’s pushing 60 now on “The Orville”, and she did not look in her mid-thirties here, more like 25.
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Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 4:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Mr. Paris doesn't grow much of a beard in 30 days.
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Tue, Sep 24, 2019, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

How are you calling this and the Cage pilots? The pilot is The Menagerie, with a different captain. Later made into episodes featuring the old captain in flashbacks.
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Tue, Sep 24, 2019, 1:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I have thoroughly enjoyed your reviews, but I am floored you like TLJ. You're an English major and a sci-fi story expert, and you give this plot-hole-ridden suckfest more than half a star? It wrecked all the lore, uses the Force illegitimately, and is heavily SJW politicized -- the men in this movie were all physically and verbally abused by women! The horrid just will not cease.
Rey is a Mary Sue and her action figures aren't selling, that should tell you volumes. I think you need to watch the Mauler reviews and adjust that score.
And since I'm writing anyway, P.S., it's spelled, "dialogue" :)
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Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

To all the folks that claimed Species 8472 have been "neutered" and that no alien race would be empathetic, your response is so very human, albeit, American human.

As I continue my journey through Voyager from beginning to end, this episode has been one of the best.
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Boaty McBoatface
Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 11:26am (UTC -6)
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 -6)
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.


I thought your comments about Jadzia's experience versus Valiant's crew were spot on.
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Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 11:15am (UTC -6)
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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Tue, Sep 3, 2019, 1:52pm (UTC -6)
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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Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
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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Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 12:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Booming said:

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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Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
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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Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -6)
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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