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Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

"Ex Post Facto," anyone? In that episode, too, Paris was wrongfully convicted by an alien race of a crime he didn't commit, and sentenced to undergo surgery; specifically, for the insertion of a brain implant that f**ked with his mind.
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Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

The difficulty of retaking the ship without causing catastrophic damage, or at least without the departing Kason stripping the damaged ship of vital technology or even deliberately sabotaging it, is grossly underplayed.
My elegant solution: During the Kason occupation of Voyager, besides whatever mayhem Suder carries out, the Doctor should have flooded the air ducts with a Kason-specific pathogen he quickly improvises. If that seems too brutal, it wouldn't even have to be a lethal microorganism - just some disease that slowly but surely causes the Kason to waste away, interfering with their thinking process, thwarting their plans, and which, ultimately, "softens them up" to the idea of peacefully relinquishing control of Voyager when the original crew shows up (perhaps Janeway promises a cure in exchange for the return of an intact Voyager).
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Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Some of you really should get that stick attended to. Also, the part of your brains that determine "what is and what isn't Star Trek" seems to have ossified. I have news for you. It's all Star Trek. All of it. You who consider yourselves the arbiters of what is and what isn't proper Trek are growing more irrelevant every day, along with those who write ever-more caustic, sarcastic and arrogant reviews. The rest of us out here are enjoying this ever-expanding Trek universe. Some of it is good, some not so good, but it's all "Star Trek", and I welcome each new iteration.
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Alexander Weiss
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 2:46am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

The biggest problem with the Hirogen is that there Predator knock offs. The first movie they appeared in came out in the 1980’s way before this episode. If Voyagers writers were going to do the Star Trek version of a Predator they should have done them in a way that made them more creative or memorable. Since I like the real original a Predator aliens more than the Hirogen. I think the Hirogen are an improvement compared to the other two recurring aliens Voyager created (the Kazan and Vidiians). It still kind of shows species 8472 Is probably the best alien Voyager created. Species 8472 does feel like some inspiration was taken from the Xenomorph in alien but not to the point of where it feels like it’s just a xenomorph knock off.
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Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

This was the episode that made me rethink whether I really want and need to further watch this series. And the decision is rather not in favour of the series.

Let's see, so far ST:Pic has almost more violence on screen than *all* previous Star Trek *combined*. Or is it *really* more? (That's not counting Discovery, frankly I didn't finish even season 1 and I just... I don't count it.)

We had the series start with some brutal killings right away, people melted with acid, people melting themselves with acid, rogue plastic people shooting real people through the neck in slow burning death, and now an ex-borg butchering with all the graphic detail. Maybe I'm too sensitive? Could be. I thought Star Trek always managed to be provocative and even shocking without resorting to just plain visuals of shock-value stuff. And close to the end we have another person turned into red mist. Even if she was built up as deserving to die (right after Picard argues otherwise... so... I don't agree either)

And in the very end when we just rescued Bruce Maddox, after all that setup and introduction (well, his older self, of course we already were introduced to him 30 years ago), he's just killed. Right away. And it showed his agony in full HD for good 30 or 40 seconds. How his blood vessels collapsed, organs failing, eyes darkening, all that.

Just have us wait for the character's reveal for 5 episodes now and then crunch him without any mercy.
I didn't want that. Especially (!) when it happened *right after* Picard got his next lead, his next quest mark out of the professor.

That also brings up a few questions - if the EMH is capable of "background processing" so to speak, as to response to individuals onboard being in some alarming condition - psychologically or physiologically (interestingly the former was made to seem more immediate?) - then... what about security? Was there not one alarm signal going off on the captain's board? That someone was dying right now in sickbay? When they come in, say, 30 minutes later, for some usual business, does Agnes tell them "oh he died because injuries", won't they have any sort of security recording? Or is she gonna erase the evidence?

Bottom line, that was pretty frustrating. First the episode turned me away with the graphic butchery (I get it, things are bad, did I really need to see that much of it?), then it admittedly built some good tension and humor, then it made my stomach turn into a knot as I was watching Raffi's scene with her son (it was painfully good, in a sad way), and then it slapped me with the killing of Bruce Maddox as if he was a scripted NPC that Picard had to meet and talk to once in order to continue on the quest.

Was I supposed to equate and resolve the maturation of the franchise with inevitably turning darker, more shocking? Well, it sounds more like GoT than ST. And I'd rather not.
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Alex R
Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 7:52am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Terra Nova

I came here because the dialect "digger" "shale" "tracks" etc. reminded me of the Garbage People's language in walking dead (and of course Voyager's Nemesis episode with the Vori's silly language "glimpse", "way-after", "fast-walk", etc.)

It's cool to see the comments split. I agree with PB, Peter, Brian Lear, etc. that the *concept* of a dialect developed by isolated 5 year olds, is interesting and realistic. BUT it could've been done way less cheesy. "Shale" for "BS" is quite clever really (shale is brittle and treacherous; + sounds like sh*t). But growing up parentless is no excuse to suddenly go primitive: "Before families" ? Even 3 and 4 year olds hear the word "parents".

Jamahl's right that the plot twists are a little too contrived, and that the concept had the potential to be a lot more compelling. For anyone watching both, I *LOVED* the human element they added to Picard this year, and you can tell that that's what Braga was going for in Enterprise 20 years ago (damn...)
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Alex B
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

What, they didn't want to call this The Magnificent Seven?

I'm pretty torn: the Trek I have is stylish and impressively made, the Trek I knew is dead and gone. I hope this is working towards some redeeming qualities of some kind, and I hope this isn't where we leave Seven forever.
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Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

This whole series rates as a PASS for me.

It had some interesting moments, but overall was pretty weak with a lot of boring spots and a lot of stuff that just doesn't pay off in any meaningful way. It also just doesn't seem like Jean Luc Picard at all. More Patrick Stewart in space. Crusher was the character Picard was attached to in TNG and she was never mentioned. Picard's Vineyard burnt to the ground and his brother and nephew died but that is never mentioned, yet discussing his antique furniture (which anyone should be able to replicate) is. Rehashing Data's death from the end of Nemesis was all pretty weak. CBS continues to poke the Star Trek corpse but I just can't remain interested in it.
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Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

I remember the first time watching this episode and the lawyer going after Alexander, I leaned over to my wife and went, 'he's about to get his ass beat." and then Worf just drops him.

Quite satisfying on multiple fronts.
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Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 3:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Reunion

This was the episode I realized I was gonna love Worf for a long time. The fury behind Worf's "Then that is how it shall be!" line still gives me chills.
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Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Someone to Watch Over Me

I don't think the ambassador's outburst was bad. It helped show the need for balance and hiw his overindulgence lead to bad things. People say drunkenness shows our "true character" but I disagree. Sometimes it activates parts of us that we are adamantly opposed to simply because our brains aren't working. It fit in with the whole theme.
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Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 5:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I am gonna be honest, I absolutely hate this episode. I hated it when it first came out and I hate it just as much today. I consider it one of the worst TNG episodes ever. I know I am in a minority of one on that one, but I really do. Not even hyperbole.

It's boring and doesn't even take into account the aspect of mind rape. We are just suppose to fall in love with this race and excuse their crime. I've always been disappointed more people never took issue with that moral standpoint of the episode. And of course the giant reset button next week doesn't help.

Of course, I do get some humor our of how incompetent Beverly is shown to be yet again. One of my favorite unintentional recurring themes of TNG. I love Gates but Beverly is just pure incompetence She probably didn't want to use the EMH because she knew it'd be far more effective than she could ever be. But I am getting off topic.

I constantly try to understand why people love this episode, reading so many reviews. It still has never clicked with me. We get small fragments of Picard's alternate life with large time jumps. We barely know any of these characters, they are just background dressing to Picard's experience. Which is fine, but for an episode like this I feel like it's important to connect with those characters. To fully understand them, beyond Picard just having a family. Take Picard's son. He wants to do music and wanted to do two other things before settling on music. And that is his entire character.

His daughter takes after him and then becomes a mother and that is it. These characters are cardboard. There is zero depth to any of them.

Rene Picard had a lot more development in family. We can understand Picard's pain when he dies in Generations, we can feel sadness that he never got to go to Starfleet like he wanted or experience life. All cut short in a senseless fire, the randomness of life. Intially I wasn't a fan of Family on first run either, but all these years later I've grown to really like and appreciate all the themes in that episode.

Do we really feel sad for any of this alien race? As a concept, sure but the actual individual characters? Again cardboard. And they mind raped someone selfishly. They inflicted unwanted harm for their own selfish desires. We would excuse a man, who raped a woman, because he was dying and wanted her to remember him? They basically make Picard experience Stockholm syndrome as a way to cope with his torture. It's really quite disgusting when you actually think about it critically. The episode touches on none of this. In fact, we barely get any of the denial stage and just get a 5 year time jump. It's so compressed, it's ridiculous. And this is one of the greatest episodes of Star Trek?

No and again I wonder why everyone loves this episode?

Tapestry was so much better, it really examined the choices we make in our life and how things we regret can make us better people. The path you didn't take, that is an interesting exploration of the human condition. I think that was far more of an effective character study of Picard and his life choices.

As you've noticed, I haven't really attacked the technology level and how feasible those parts of the episode is. That is just there. It's one of the few things I can complain about. They were advanced in one field and not so much with space travel beyond their little probe. 21st century humans have amazing communications technology and the ability to constant anyone in the world instantly. But yet we've only been to the moon over 40 years ago and we don't even know when we'll get back. Let alone going to Mar.

I even hate the flute and the sounds it makes. Those songs almost make my ears bleed, but I tend to hate wind instruments and find them unappealing universally. That one is probably just one of my quirks. It just adds on to my hate.
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Wed, Jan 1, 2020, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

As a trans woman, who has had surgery, I absolutely hate this episode.

It's very dated in it's understanding of sex and it's relationship to gender. Is this race single sex or are they multi sexed with an enforced non gendered society? Gender is not an absolute on our own planet, why would we except other races to have the same white western idaelized version of gender? The episode doesn't really understand the terminology it uses so it sort of jumps around. There are single sexed races in Star trek and other multi sexed with all sorts of genders. The episode suffers from it's time period and it's own cultural bias. The crew should not have been confused by any of this.

It's trying to talk about homosexuality but it's played out with trans themes. It doesn't help that the J'naii all look female. There wasn't much androgynous about how they were portrayed. It's such an odd way to try and make a point about sexual orientation, as they don't really quite understand the issue they are talking about. Riker is a straight male and is attracted to a supposed female (or one that looks female) of this race. How is that homosexual? Especially when she identifies with being female. You could've really made this a powerful episode had it been an actual trans story instead of this mishmash that doesn't work.

The episode would've worked better if they had cast a male actor in Soren's feminine role. Or cast a female in the Soren role who thinks of himself as male. Then you get both a trans and a gay story and the complexity of that understanding.

This episode also struggles with the very concept of non binary just pushing it as something that is evil.

It was just the typical gutless TNG writing based on guest stars that this season was full of. The show worked so much better when it wasn't about the guest of the week and just the main crew. It's very dated, maybe even worse than the worst TOS episode in some ways,.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

I like it. Before I get bogged down in complaints, I’ll start with that. The overarching plot - a twisted version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with Q as a snarky and slightly sadistic Clarence - is a delight. Too bad the script used to maneuver our hero through his paces are so transparently manipulative.
This is an episode where, just behind the screen, I can the writers jerking every characters’ strings.

Jean-Luc as a womanizer in his youth? I have a hard time buying it. Wasn’t he a driven, ambitious cadet with a serious personality? But, okay: it wa along ago, and I’ll grant the possibility.

But: the plot point that Jean-Luc never went to bed with the smitten Marta when he was a reckless young womanizer, but then did go to bed with her when he was his “older and wiser” self (on the eve of their permanent separation, no less) seems out of place. The Wise Old Picard is shown taking a risk with Marta’s friendship, flying in the face of the rest of his characterization.

There’s also a distinct ick factor in their coupling. Picard feels himself to be 55 years old. He sees 55 year old Picard in the mirror. He’s been in a young man’s body for less than a day - and he’s using the opportunity to bed an unsuspecting 21-year-old - one that he hasn’t seen in 30 years. It’s grotesque, and not what Captain Picard would do. But the writers yank the strings, and their puppets dance.

To serve the further needs of the plot, the character of Marta is terribly underwritten. Because the writers needed a manufactured fight between Jean-Luc and Corey, Marta is kept out of every discussion about the Nausicans. She sits silent at every table, seeming having no opinion on whether Corey should play them, whether the friends should attempt revenge, and even whether she minds being raped, as the Nausican eventually suggests (her passivity in that scene leads Corey and Picard to come to blows, finalizing their schism). Her lack of opinions comes across as simply bizarre - and calls further attention to the machinations of the writers behind the scenes.

On first viewing, these clunky elements were bothersome but tolerable. On rewatching, they are nearly ruinous.

But no matter the episode’s flaws, it will always be a classic in my book. I will never get enough of Lieutenant Picard in a blue uniform, raging to Q that he’d rather die than live a less-than-remarkable life.
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Wed, Jul 17, 2019, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

You guys should light up every now and then... this two-parter was just fun. Granted it made no sense in a lot of places, but come on... Klingons fighting nazis! Seven Of Nine and her holy holographic hand grenade! How often do you get stuff like that?
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Mon, May 27, 2019, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

When Kirk and Charlie were on the turbolift on the way to the bridge, did they stop off at Kirk's quarters so he could change his shirt?
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Alex Hill
Thu, May 2, 2019, 6:28am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

One thing that really bothers me (here and in a good number of other Trek episodes): what kind of data storage do they have in the 24th century that when you download data from them the original data disappears? That’s not how disks work! Even 1990s RAID arrays would have protected the data if a copy on one physical disk was corrupted somehow just by being accessed.
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Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Anomaly

I think people need to remember two things about the torture scene:
1) These aren't 24th century evolved humans, these are humans a scant 100 years after their civilization nearly wiped itself out. Archer probably heard first-hand stories from people who lived in the pre-First Contact days. They still eat meat, they don't have any protocols whatsoever for First Contact or diplomacy or anything. Archer is way closer to viewers watching this in 2003 than he was to Picard in 2364.
2) Malcolm seems horrified by the torture. Everyone seems nervous around Archer for the whole episode, even Trip. You aren't supposed to think his actions are righteous. Archer isn't the hero of the episode.
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Alex Boyd
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Obsession

A good episode that somehow did not make it on to either the Best of Kirk collection that's out there or the Captain's Log collection.
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Alex Boyd
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

Even if Kirk and Spock play second-fiddle to some new characters, chasing after them and generally watching what's going on, I think this episode manages some suspense, originality and fun. It's a wonky, entertaining ride. I mean, c'mon, Seven (Seven?) can speak cat and his cat is actually a very attractive woman (alien?) and some people don't find that at all fun? I revisited this one to prepare a bit for reading Assignment: Eternity.
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James Alexander
Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

this was the first episode of Orville I ever got a glimpse of.
was randomly scrolling through channels and I stumbled across this thing with a vaguely Bajoran-looking girl getting into trouble, and a robot's eyes turning red as it turns evil and tries to kill her.

thought what I saw was passable albeit nothing truly stunning, and it was good for killing time while it was on.
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Alex Williams
Tue, May 8, 2018, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

@ Ross Carlton

I agree with all of your points. But an Fminor does not contain an A, it has an Aflat. The difference between an Fminor and a diminished D is, in fact, a whole tone ~ from Cnatural to Dnatural; from the 5th of the Fminor to the root of the Ddiminished.
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Miss Alexandra
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I do not always agree with you, Jammer, but I endorse every single word you wrote about this episode. I have been a huge fan of Discovery, Isaacs was a big part of that, and turning a wonderfully complex character into an eeeeevil cartoon absolutely enraged me. Of all the things they could have done with Lorca, they made the worst possible choice. I agree the action sequences were great (they finally made use of having a martial arts star to work with!). The other thread of this episode, contrasting how the crew behaves under Lorca's effective but repressive rule with an atmosphere that is so very Starfleet, and completing Saru's journey to self confidence, was masterful, but the price was too high. My excitement for the next episode dropped about 50% from where it's been.
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James Alexander
Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

this is a hard one for me to watch.
the episode sets up a really uncomfortably atmosphere from the get go, and tells you in virtually every way that something is wrong.

I clicked on it by accident one evening when I was looking for an episode to chill out with and had to turn it off again because I was on edge as soon as Miles and Keiko had that really weird dinner.
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Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

How did clingons managed to harass colonists for five seasons if the whole show had run for incomplete two seasons?
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