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Alexandra
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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Alexandra
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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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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