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Andersonh1
Mon, Dec 28, 2020, 11:09am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

Rewatching this the other day made me wonder about Kes's age. She turned 2 years old sometime in season 2 I think, so here she's very near the end of her natural lifespan, 7 or 8, the human equivalent of 70 or 80, meaning that memory problems and confusion are not all that farfetched. That only partially works as an explanation though, given that she seems quite rational and able to plan out her scheme, so her mental acuity is not all gone. But for the character to say "I had forgotten..." is not as much of a stretch for her as it would be for human characters. 3 years is a lot longer for the Ocampa.

The bottom line is that it's just difficult to make a former main cast member (credited in the episode with an "also starring" I note, which is nice) into the villain for the week. We're all sympathizing with Kes, we want to see that long lost friend return and relive memories of Voyager past. We don't want to see her acting out some plan for revenge, so the episode has an uphill climb in the first place.

I'll be very curious to hear their take on the episode if Garrett Wang and Robert McNeill's Delta Flyers podcast gets this far.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 15: The Believer

This show continues to be SO GOOD week after week. My only complaint, and it's a small one, is that this season had three or four episodes in a row where Din shows up, meets someone, and helps solve a local problem before he can keep moving forward with his quest. So things felt slightly repetitive. But that's a minor quibble.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 7:30am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

I love this episode. It's tremendously entertaining in how it skewers the average conspiracy theorist and I love Seven's absolutely sincere and driven spouting of the facts as she weaves them together into her elaborate theories. The continuity callbacks to Voyager's early days are very welcome, and I especially enjoyed the way that the story used the fact that Neelix had been in the area long before Voyager turned up and had seen all these other ships come and go, thanks to the Caretaker, and it was nice to hear Kes discussed as well.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -6)
Re: Trek Films S2: Star Trek: Insurrection

I watched "Insurrection" this weekend. It was the first time I had seen it in years, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure why this film gets so much grief, because there's a lot to enjoy and very little to dislike. It's a fun adventure for the TNG crew, with some nice moments for most of the characters (though poor Dr. Crusher gets nothing to do once again). 3 stars.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

I read recently that Ronald Moore just flat out did not accept the ending of this episode, that Janeway and Chakotay simply could not go back to the way things were before. So I was watching that final scene, and it's clear to me that they were beginning the process of repairing the relationship, and that Janeway was tacitly admitting she had gone too far. There was an apology there, and in the end while Janeway may have preached about sticking to principles, it was Chakotay who had actually done so. It was nicely played by Beltran and Mulgrew, in my opinion.

I thought it would have been interesting to play out this scenario for a few more episodes, and have Voyager and Equinox travel together for a short time. Shake up the status quo for two or three episodes before having the reveal of the aliens and the showdown. There was some untapped potential there.

I was glad to see Ransom found some redemption in the end. He fought with his conscience, he struggled, and in the end turned around and made the right decision, so he gets to go down with the ship and save lives rather than be fried by the aliens like Burke and the other mutineers.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 10:04am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

This is a fine example of an episode that I got something more and something different out of than when I last saw it. In recent years I've become far more interested in family history, and a lot of the comments about "fragmented" and incomplete records rang very true. It's hard to put together a history of someone's life when they just did what most of us do: they grew up, they went to school, they worked, they had a family, and there's just very little to distinguish them. Nor is family oral tradition always accurate.

There were a number of other things I enjoyed about the episode:
- Jason is a level-headed kid that has a good relationship with his father. I appreciated that.
- The project manager who offered O'Donnell the job could easily have been a stereotypical corporate villain, but he was written and played as a quiet and reasonable man. There really is no villain in this story, and it works just fine without one.
- I enjoyed the story's theme that we can be inspired by what family from generations ago did.

Overall, it was a quiet, enjoyable story, and a chance for Kate Mulgrew to do something a little different.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

This episode needed to be earlier in the season before Voyager made those big jumps in Timeless and Dark Frontier. Apart from that, I enjoyed it more than I expected, largely because it elevated the Malon beyond villains of the week who dump toxic waste. Glimpses of their society, their motivations for what they do and the presence of the Malon as allies of the Voyager crew are very much in keeping with Trek's habit of allowing us to understand an antagonist's point of view and sometimes bury the hatchet. The writers did the same thing earlier in the season with species 8472, and now we get to see the other side of the Malon.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Aug 24, 2020, 8:41am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

I liked the story, and I'm always glad to see Chakotay given something interesting to do. If nothing else, this episode ought to show yet again that Robert Beltran can act and will put a lot into the role when he's got material that requires it. Though I'm not a fan of boxing (and found the Doctor's criticism of it amusing), I appreciated the visual metaphor thatf boxing = Chakotay's difficulty in communicating with the more alien than usual aliens. It's a much better way to portray the struggle than just having Chakotay shouting about how difficult and painful the process is (which to be fair we also see).

The background material with Chakotay's grandfather was the type of exploration of the character that we haven't seen since season 2, and some of Chakotay's dialogue is something I could see the younger Chakotay as portrayed in "Tattoo" saying.

This is another middle of the road episode for me, which is to say that I enjoyed it. It's entertaining, it's not bad, but it's not different enough to elevate it beyond many others.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 9:42am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Tom told Harry, way back in season 1 during "Ex Post Facto": "Someday it will be you, Harry. You'll meet her, and you'll know it's wrong from the first moment you see her, and you'll know there's nothing you can do about it."

Five years later it happens. And Tom knows full well what's going on. I always enjoy the friendship these two have. Tom covers for him by stopping the illicit transmission before Tuvok can trace it. That could have landed Tom in as much trouble as Harry, but he did it anyway. Good scene.

I can't say I have as much of a problem with this episode as Jammer and some of the others here. Yes, the "no sex with alien species until it's been medically cleared" idea seems at odds with what we've already seen on TNG and DS9 (Kirk was a century earlier, so I don't assume all the same regulations existed for him), but there's probably a way to work around that. And as some have noted, Janeway enforced this particular rule on this occasion more because of who broke it than for any other reason, as she admits at the end of the episode. She wasn't being consistent and treating Harry's infraction in the same way she would otherwise have done if it had been committed by another member of the crew. Garret Wang does a good job in all his major scenes, and I'll be curious to hear his thoughts on this episode whenever his podcast gets this far into reviewing Voyager.

It's another middle of the road Voyager episode for me: enjoyable to watch with some good scenes. Not stellar, but not full of major deficiencies either. Two stars.
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Andersonh1
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 8:43am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

The episode is interesting, and I don't mind a follow-up to the duplicated Voyager crew from "Demon", but at the same time the entire episode feels somewhat pointless because it's not about the actual Voyager crew. Nothing we see has any impact on our main characters, who never even learn of the duplicate crew's existence. We see the doppelgangers, we learn a bit about their adventures, and then they're gone. It seems to me that for this episode to carry some genuine weight, there needed to be some interaction with the real Voyager crew and some consequences.

As a "what if" scenario watching Voyager deal with a no-win scenario, there are some interesting ideas in this bleak episode, so it's not a total loss. But one and a half stars feels fair. In terms of quality t's below average, but not bad. It just needed some relevance for the real crew, in my opinion.
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Andersonh1
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

@ Mal - though I find this episode frustrating, I would agree with you that the ending is very good as each person faces their fate with quiet acceptance. It's the best scene of the episode, and Chakotay's observation is my favorite line of the story.

CHAKOTAY: Who knows what's going to happen when that ring hits us? We might be in for another long journey.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

The fact that they give the game away in the teaser is what makes this episode work so well. We and the crew know it's a trap of some sort right from the beginning, so while we start out skeptical with the entire crew, we end up with Seven and Naomi and the Doctor as the only ones not under the creature's influence. If the story had tried to fool the audience, it would not have worked. The wormhole is so obviously too good to be true that the story wisely never tries to hide that fact, but incorporates it into the narrative in an almost humorous way, given how the good news keeps piling up for everyone.

Count me in the camp of those who like Naomi Wildman. She's a smart and capable kid, but she's also still a child, hiding when she's scared and crying over the unconscious Neelix, needing to be carried and comforted by Seven. The actress does a great job being as young as she is, and I am always happy to see the character in an episode.

This scenario reminds me somewhat of "One" from last season, with only Seven and the Doctor to save the entire crew. The comparison suggests that while the ship can be automated temporarily, one person cannot do the maintenance required to keep Voyager running long term, which is what happened in "One".
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 10:36am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Gravity

Shuttle crash aside, as a variation on the "stranded crew members" type of plot, I thought this one worked fairly well and had a lot to offer. It's good to see Tuvok remaining faithful to his wife, even if he might never see her again. I enjoy seeing Tom and Tuvok interact in a survival situation, and the time differential between the area inside and the area outside the sinkhole allows for a lengthy survival situation for Tom, Tuvok and the Doctor while plausibly keeping Voyager in the area for months, because of course it hasn't been months for them. The location filming is very welcome, making a nice change from the standard Voyager sets.

I don't know that the episode needs to say anything greater about Voyager to be worthwhile. It's an incident along their journey that tells us something about the characters and is an enjoyable adventure. Good enough for me.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 7:40am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

Gotta disagree with Jammer, this episode is so much fun. It's often very silly, gloriously so, and I'm glad to see the writers and actors can do an episode where they don't have to take everything dead seriously. Both my daughter and I identified with Tom trying to explain his hobby to someone not into the same hobby, and having to deal with the "I can't believe you waste your time on THIS" attitude. Hammy villains can be a lot of fun, and Chaotica could give emperor Palpatine a run for his money. The whole Captain Proton scenario is absurd, and the writers and characters know it and have a great time playing along, and so do I.

Second favorite line of the episode: Chaotica's enunciation of "Foooooooool!" which has to have four or five octaves and syllables in that one word. Hilarious. :)

My favorite lines are where Janeway and Chaotica discuss "underlings", and the look on Janeway's face is priceless:

CHAOTICA: Why this preoccupation with the Shield?
JANEWAY: Oh, forgive me. It's just that, as a fellow ruler of the cosmos I often have to do things myself.
CHAOTICA: Ah. Because of the incompetence of your inferiors, no doubt.
JANEWAY: Something like that.

Three and a half stars for this one. Love it!
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 7:28am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I have to admit, I'm not interested in Lower Decks, and I've only seen one episode of Discovery. I did enjoy Picard for the most part, but that show revisited old characters, which was the main appeal for me. Despite enjoying Star Trek, it takes more than just a show with that name applied to it to get me to watch.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

As a conspiracy episode that becomes a "nature of existence" episode, I really enjoyed the questions that it raised. It's good for the show to occasionally remind us that the Doctor is not in fact a real person, but a simulated person. The question is, has he become such an enormously complex simulation that he is now essentially like Data, an artificial lifeform that is self-aware and as close to being genuinely alive as he can be? Have the Voyager crew, by treating him just like all the living flesh and blood crew members, in fact given him a soul, as Janeway asks? Would they have been right to wipe his memory back when he was first activated, but is is wrong now, after he's grown so much?

It's little wonder the show returned to these questions again and again, particularly in the last season, and it's no wonder "Picard" has been exploring the implications of artificial life forms as advanced as we see on Star Trek. It's fascinating sci-fi material for storytelling.
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Andersonh1
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 9:13am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

I may be in the minority here, but I enjoyed and appreciated this episode a lot. I've always enjoyed Nancy Hower's performance as Samantha Wildman. She's just calm and kind and down to earth and just feels friendly and like a normal human being in ways that many of the main cast, as much as I like them all, do not. And as the only parent with a child on the ship, there are some unique storytelling options with her than were rarely taken advantage of. This episode could not have worked with any other character. Scarlett Pomers is surprisingly good for a child actor of her age, and I enjoyed seeing the world of Voyager from a fresh perspective through her eyes.

I've long since come to appreciate Neelix and what Ethan Phillips brings to the role, and here he reminds us just what a sad person Neelix is beneath his cheery persona and how tragic his backstory is. The scene where Janeway insists that Naomi must be told what's happened to Samantha and Neelix gets so angry before being talked down is a highlight.

Tom and Tuvok's interactions with Samantha while she's injured demonstrate the benefit of giving the main characters scenes where they interact with Voyager's sadly underutilized secondary characters. Tuvok demonstrates empathy with a fellow parent, and Tom's understated concern for "Sam" is also nicely played with none of his usual bravado or joking.

Every now and then it's nice to be reminded that space travel is dangerous for the Voyager crew, and that it's a big deal when someone might not make it back. Extras get killed to provide extra drama, but it always works better when we get to know them first. Still, this is one time it would have been unforgivable to kill off a secondary character, so I'm very glad Samantha lived to see her daughter again. Not that we see her in the present day after this story, oddly....
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 7:29am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

This one's very nearly a four-star episode in my book. B'Elanna's depression and detachment from her life is good material for the character, and it's well played. I agree that evidence of B'Elanna's emotional turmoil should have turned up earlier, but better late than never. I'll give credit to the writers for addressing this issue in the end, and it did need to be addressed considering that some of the last Maquis still alive are present on Voyager. And I did not take the end of the episode as implying that everything was going to be rosy from now on, just that after her friend Chakotay's intervention, B'Elanna's healing process had begun. The problem has not been solved, but she's started down that road.

Good to see the Delta Flyer finally make its debut on the show.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

I'm not quite sure what to think of this one. I don't dislike it, but it is fairly middle of the road, and I don't find Virginia Madsen's performance all that compelling. I normally enjoy a Chakotay-focused episode, but this one does not really play to the character's strengths, apart from perhaps noting that kindness is one of his more prominent attributes, and it's what attracted Kellin to him. I agree with Jammer that there does not seem to be a lot of chemistry between the Kellin and Chakotay, and she never really seems as desperate as she should be, given her situation. I think a greater on-screen passage of time and a bit more intensity in the performances might have helped, but the episode is very low-key, for the most part, given what the stakes are meant to be. Like I said, not bad, but not terribly good either.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 9:05am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

My favorite line of the episode is after Tuvok notes that Vulcans are a "dispassionate people" and says that he has a wife. Mrs. Renn laughs and says, "I'm sure she's a fine, dispassionate woman!" Cracks me up every time.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 3:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

It's nice to have a rare season ending episode in 90s Trek that is not a big, blockbuster cliffhanger or some game-changing story development, but instead bookends the season by looking at some of the consequences of Janeway's decision at the beginning. I enjoy how it picks up the damaged message from Starfleet and brings it back into the storyline, and with the slipstream drive it sets up Timeless, my favorite Voyager episode. The acting was quite good, and the crew behaved intelligently, noting that this "too good to be true" ship could be just that. It's a strong episode for this episodic series, showing once again that Voyager has had a major impact on the Delta quadrant, sometimes to the detriment of the native inhabitants.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

I come very close to calling this one the second four star episode after "Eye of the Needle", but the opening feels a bit hokey before the episode pulls things together nicely in act one and gives the crew a real dilemma, so I'll go with three and a half. Once again it's a given that the crew will not succeed, but the character choices made with B'Elanna and especially Tuvok, and the establishment of Seska as a solid supporting character really carry this episode for me. And Josh Clark makes me wish that Joe Carey had been a recurring supporting character beyond season one as a father who really just wants to get home to his family. Voyager would have benefitted from more recurring characters that could be developed a la DS9, and I really like the "engineering staff" that allow B'Elanna to have her own subplots apart from the main cast.

Nice to see a Starfleet crew on the receiving end of a "prime directive" for once and having to just live with that. I thought that particular reality could have used a bit more discussion in the episode, maybe leading to some flexibility on the topic down the line.

Like ovaduh, I love that this episode is referenced in "Picard". I didn't expect so many Voyager references in that show, and most were quite welcome, this one in particular.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

The is the first four star episode of Voyager, an episode that is patient and thoughtful and in which the plot takes several unexpected turns, and which uses Voyager's unique premise very effectively. They really do just about everything right here. Yes, it's a given that Voyager will fail to find a way home by the end of the episode, but it's honestly unreasonable to hold that against the episode, given the premise of this series.

I enjoyed watching the crew investigate, get their hopes up, run into an obstacle which dashes those hopes, only for a solution to present itself, at which point the cycle repeats itself. It's a nice example of this crew working together to problem-solve and find alternatives until they finally hit a dead end and are forced to give up. And the Romulan scientist is a nicely written, well-acted antagonist who becomes a friend by the end, so much so that we're genuinely sad to hear that he died before Voyager even left in the first place.

Four stars, easily.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

I think it's clear that Voyager was still trying to find it's way and identity in these early episodes. That being said, I enjoy the film noir detective story approach, and I quite like that Tom's eye for the ladies really gets him in trouble this time. This is not a terribly ambitious episode, but as an early "still getting to know the characters" type of drama, it works fairly well. Yeah, it's not hard to see where the plot is going when it comes to the two Baneans having an affair behind the old professor's back and setting Tom up for the fall, but the twist of using Tom's implanted memories to smuggle information to the Numuri worked well the first time I saw the episode. Like Tom, I assumed the symbols were part of the punishment and didn't think any more of them.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 6:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Race riots, arguments over interpretations of history, attacking museums... this episode suddenly became very topical after this past weekend. Eerily so.
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