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Andrew
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

But what if Michael was the red angel but then actually died? If Michael dies, doesn’t that eliminate the red angel from the future and undo all of the things that the red angel goes back in time to do? They don’t seem to address this part of the time paradox. This issue turns out not to be a problem since it seems to be Michael’s mom instead, but no one knew this when they created the plan to try and almost kill Michael.
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Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

3 stars this week, after last week's 4 stars.

The end was very good but I couldn't help but not be completely won over by Airtriam, and how the crew feel about her. She's been a minor character up until this episode, so it's hard. Tilly crying though...

The episode did a good job at trying though. I loved learning more about Airtriam and what she was like pre-implant.

It seems like the show is actually calling out the S31 of this era on being so out in the open. It all seems very intriguing.
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Andre
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Daya

"In today's real-world technology, so-called artificial intelligence (AI) achieves human-level (or rarely super-human) capabilities on very narrow tasks, by being trained on very very large data sets: much larger than a human gets trained on. It is an interesting extrapolation that a super-human AI (not only on narrow tasks, but general AI) could be created by being trained on a data set that ranged across ten thousand years and a vast section of the galaxy. Discovery must be praised for producing *actual sci-fi* for the first time."

What? Today's real-world technology hasn't even able to produce an AI with the intelligence or capabilities of a worm, let alone a human. Super-human AI is nowhere near actual sci-fi, if we're using that term to signify something approximating realism.
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Andre
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Firstly. To every debating who the red angel is: ITS MICHAEL. Obviously. This show has made her the ultimate central star with all the solutions so you think they will make the entity saving the ENTIRE galaxy someone else? The writing here is not nearly that sophisticated. And it has never been in star trek. The star has ALWAYS been the primary problem solver/hero (think Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Sisko). So its Michael.

This episode was, in my humble view, 3/5. I may be too young to care about the reference to the Cage, so I wasnt nearly swayed by that. My suspicion many persons who liked it were. I stand to be wrong on that.

Details. The portrayal of S31 is different from previous treks. Its more CIA/KGB. Im giving them time to develop it. Its neither terrible nor great. IT can be tied into continuity easily, as S31 can be discredited during this period and forced deep underground by TNG time nearly a century later. Let me ask you- what was the name of the British Empire's secret agency in 1919? What about the russians? Gotta go and check right? Exactly. So to all the people screaming about how it breaks continuity, chill entirely out.

There are missing significant opportunites to delve into ACTUAL societal debate between Tyler and Pike. Pike seems more idealistic and Tyler more realistic about the real threats facing the Federation. It could try to tackle a problem which genuinely defines the current age in Western democracies: should we be idealistically sticking to our principles of respect of human rights, dignity and freedom even in the face of incredible threats of terrorism, and a resurgent russia/china, or should Western states do what is necessary to protect its population, even if it means curtailing freedoms? Should speeh be limited to safeguard feelings ? I dont know these answers, but these are worthwhile discussions. Which STD doesnt do, but has time to denounce the social terror of men arguing.

The interaction between Michael and Spock is, in my opinion, ridiculous and one of the most forced conflicts in television history. Sorry not sorry. Sibblings argue all the time. Why would this shape Spock's life? Also hes logical enough to see the purpose of her actions as a matter of love. Its honestly so stupid that adults carry that around.

Just. Leave. The. Doctor. Dead. Again unncessary forced drama. Stupid.

Saru let the fight happen. On a ship. In a military. A fight. Allowed. by the 2nd in command. In Starfleet. Okay. I waste no more words on the implausibility of that story line. If that makes sense to you then try that at work tomorrow. See how fast you get fired.

Ill summarize with this. Im glad star trek is back on 'television'. Most series take 3 years to find their footing. Ds9 is my favourite trek but their first 2 seasons were the WORST of all series. Same for TNG. Discovery is finding its stride. Better with season 2, next season should be golden.

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Andrew
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Rewatching, whoa the acting is bad.

The episode maybe improves a little around the middle, where it suggests that Chakotay and of course Paris and even Janeway herself consider that Janeway is being too stringent, the protocol actually *is* rarely actually enforced or even taken seriously but Janeway just chose to do so (kind of the only way to make the episode fit with the franchise overall), but then the ending has Janeway, despite some outreach to Kim, insisting and Harry agreeing that it is standard typical policy, she always would and any captain would.

There's maybe a little credit for the end of the episode pretty much, or sort of, admitting that Tal didn't love Harry, for her it was just lust, and Harry at least vaguely admits it to himself, but that slight admitting, that little reaction or denial isn't interesting enough, sure doesn't make the episode wothwhile enough.
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

The crew should have mutinied. Janeway's plan to get back Seven amidst thousands of Borg is insane but the writing, while not distracting from that, also annoyingly made its progress feel insanely easy.

This episode at least kind of destroyed the Borg (though the later "Collective" and "Unimatrix Zero" destroyed them quite a bit more), Janeway, the Voyager crew. Seven also seems crazy to agree to be taken back in order to let Voyager go, to ask to go on the away team rather than just tell Janeway captain the mission is a trap so get away, when she especially should know the Borg can easily break their promises-and the Queen quickly outright freaking tells her her purpose is to assist in assimilating all of humanity. The whole episode is so crazy, though, that Seven making such a crazy decision doesn't hurt her overall too much.

The flashbacks were OK in the first half (yeah, the parents kind of interesting), way too choppily, annoyingly included in the second. The first half would be a little better, agreeing to the deal aside, if it had been its own episode (without Part I in the onscreen title) so it wouldn't be so obvious that the mission would fail and/or Seven would be captured.
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Andre
Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 1:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Even just Chekov and Sulu are enough to make TOS more diverse than Discovery - which has a grand total of zero non-Americans serving on the crew. So much for a unified Earth!
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Andrew
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

It wasn't really consistent with the previous episodes that most of the solids had always had a basic, instinctive sense of alienation from shapeshifters, felt really different from them, but Auberjonois, Visitor and Shimerman very much sold it, made the change and new scenario very believable and compelling nonetheless, really great performances, developments and interactions between them. And (unrecognizable) Hertzler as Laas is powerfully believable in his conviction that he's been through so much and knows best even when he's only learned major things just recently. Laas is meant to be understandable but about as unlikeable as likeable (and really is a lot more in the wrong in being lethal in the confrontation, he had alternatives and it seemed like he wasn't himself in danger but enjoyed the violence), while Odo feels more positively and forgiving/mostly overlooking, and that really works.

It feels a little too inconsistent and self-congratulatory in that late in the episode, focusing on the significance of love, it kind of forgets or just discounts that Laas had had a companion, implicitly claims that just wasn't love, but the themes and even plot resolutions still work well.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

I really don't get Worf's and Jadzia's relationship. They are just... so so incompatible. They have such different values and lifestyles, such different desires and expectations in a relationship, and they're just constantly annoyed with each other. We as an audience are *told* that they are in love, but to me they never *look* or *act* like they're genuinely in love.

I've seen some people complain that Worf is overly controlling and possessive of Jadzia, and I've seen some people complain that Jadzia doesn't take the relationship seriously, is overly "promiscuous" despite Worf's discomfort and dislike of such behaviour, and is in general apathetic towards Worf's feelings. I think both of these complaints are valid. There's nothing inherently wrong with the way Worf wants to have a relationship or the way Jadzia wants to have a relationship, I'm sure Worf could be perfectly happy with a traditional yet open-minded Klingon woman who shares his values and accepts him, and Jadzia would probably be very happy in a playful open relationship with someone who jives with her and jokes with her and whose company she actually enjoys, and who doesn't mind her general flirtatious attitude.

But Worf and Jadzia don't *respect* each other. They don't *care* about each other and what each other want. They refuse to make any compromises in their relationship. Despite their vastly different values and desires and expectations in a relationship, they each just behave as if their idea of a relationship is right and the other person is being selfish if they want anything different.
Worf wants the relationship to be exactly a certain way, he wants Jadzia to act exactly a certain way, and he doesn't respect Jadzia's own desires and freedom and the fact that she may want to act another way or want the relationship to be a different way.
Conversely, Jadzia expects Worf to put up with all sorts of things she does that he's not comfortable with (e.g. teasing him, playing tongo with Quark, flirting with other guys) to satisfy her whims, but then she ignores and doesn't care about all the things which are very very important to Worf.

tbh, this quote from the episode pretty much sums it up for me:
"She says it's because he's a pigheaded, stubborn man who puts tradition before everything else. He says it's because she's a frivolous, emotional woman who refuses to take him or his culture seriously. You can see the problem."
"They're both right."

They're both mature adults, Worf and Jadzia *know* each other and what they value and how they want to live. They never should have gotten together if they're so incompatible. tbh, their relationship was a mess from the beginning. In "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places", Jadzia was just horny for Worf, while Worf was all like "we have had sex, therefore we must be in love and must get married". You couldn't have two more opposite extremes.
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

While this episode was more blatantly outright comical and the only-alternate/amoral-characters can be lesbian/bi idea did feel particularly sleazy (although a little less so as with previous episode "Rejoined" Jadzia Dax was already bi although mainly straight), all of the DS9 MU episodes, aside from probably "Crossover", had elements of self-parody, at least that you were supposed to accept the amorality or at least not take it seriously because the writers were deliberately overdoing and not taking seriously the whole reversed universe concept.
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

Visitor, de Boer and Robinson had way too little belief in the material, Visitor (rightfully) pretty embarrassed. The Ferengi actors (particularly Shimerman) were uneven but they and Dorn did have moments, Dorn was pretty enjoyable.

There was a speck of an interesting idea, that both version of O'Brien were pretty good guys so would mirror Brunt end up being bad in both-and kind of interesting that, against what you would expect, he (pretty much) didn't. But that's not nearly enough, too much else was too dumb. Particularly bad were the scenes where Ezri re-meets the Intendant (as if the Ferengi know that means they won't have their deal honored) and when Rom and Zek just stay on the floor until Ezri tells them they'll escape so come on.

The ending particularly admitted this is just for dumb fun, just for weirdness and overdone pandering and reversals, what you wouldn't and couldn't do in the standard series/franchise. The basic point also seemed to be don't take the Mirror Universe seriously, both factions are both pretty bad and they'll probably just continue in a pretty-much stalemate indefinitely. "Shattered Mirror" and then "Resurrection" were much better conclusions to the Mirror Universe, this episode was unnecessary and a little damaging but it seemed to be its goal to outright undo the previous sense of conclusiveness.

I think 2 stars, a miss with some annoyances but not particularly unenjoyable overall.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

@Springy @Iceman
"They want to prove to the Alpha Quadrant two things: 1)-They're a peaceful power who means the Alpha Quadrant powers no harm and 2)-They're a great power of their word. "

Also, Odo has an affinity with Bajor, and the Dominion want to get on Odo's good side.
In season 6, we see Weyoun telling Odo that he's doing everything he can to help Bajor and the Bajorans, clearly in an attempt to impress/appease Odo. Maybe the Dominion thinks that if they invade Bajor, Odo will be very angry with them.

On the other hand, this doesn't really match up with Odo's other interactions with the female changeling, where she doesn't care about Odo's affinity with the solids at all, and has no problem telling him she's going to execute Major Kira. It could well be though that the whole "peace treaty with Bajor for the sake of appeasing Odo (at least in part)" is the brainchild of Weyoun and/or the other Vorta. After all, Weyoun genuinely tries to appease Odo and make him happy and do what he wants, whereas the female changeling doesn't really care what Odo himself wants.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Firstborn

To me this episode feels like bad Voyager, bad late Voyager (and especially "Renaissance Man") ignoring a character's/characters' past developments and growth, ramping up flaws and conflicts that were previously already reduced so that going back to the conditions in place before the episode suddenly made things worse could somehow, supposedly, feel like growth.

"A Fistful of Datas" was bad but its ending seemed a decent enough resolution to Worf and Alexander's relationship, this episode basically both ignores and redoes it.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Fair point but the best we can do to avoid investigations getting out of hand, being corrupt themselves, is probably what we're doing now, have an independent investigation be not completely independent from the larger Justice Department and also have the President and legislative houses checking and balancing each other including the executive departments.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

It isn't even directly claimed that the Doctor did choose Kim because they were friends and was bothered by that, just that he chose one and that that meant he murdered Jetal. If the chance of survival really were the same, choosing one for some reason (Kim's position in the crew or personal friendship or just randomness) seems obviously valid and if it involved a lack of randomness, lack of complete impartiality, far from troubling.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

This episode took episodicness, lack of continuity, way too far. It could have worked at the start of the third season, maybe the end of it (six months after the Doctor go his mobile emitter), not really this far into the series. We did already see broadly similar stories/themes especially "The Swarm" and at the end of "Retrospect", this feels much less credible.

Mulgrew tries her best to make the characterization of Janeway work and it comes close to working but doesn't, Dawson tries but less so for Torres and for her it works even less. There are way too many obvious contrivances (wiping the memory more than turns out to seem needed, the Doctor turning out to not be so bothered by the initial event, wiping the recent memory but not informing Seven). The best part is Seven challenging Janeway, to her Oh, we'll talk about it later, with direct, obvious yet strong response-That will be too late.

Picardo plays the Doctor in distress as way too malevolent and crazy (to make the problem feel like a dilemma, maybe he can't live with the memories, Janeway was at least reasonable, instead it just feels like forced overstatement) and yet the initial dilemma seems way, way too obvious, there wasn't anything wrong with his decision, be it that he had to save one patient, better one than neither, on its own or combined with that yes Kim was more important to Voyager's operations.

The placement of this episode is particularly bad coming after and right after "Nothing Human" where the Doctor did (and Janeway trusted him and authorized him to) deal with ethical dilemmas very reasonably.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

A lot was fine, I hated the conclusions. There was no indication, on Nog admitting that he's scared of being a soldier, doesn't know if he can continue being one, that Nog should/could consider leaving Starfleet, there are other acceptabl things to do in the real world than being a soldier. And then the ending felt very much like "Extreme Risk", admitting your problems and getting back to normal pretty much does solve them (here it being a few days rather than seconds but still feeling really similar, a disservice to how Nog and Torres had felt and acted before).

De Boer had some moments elsewhere but she was really bad in this episode, I had no idea whether Dax was being, as Jammer thought, clever or was actually oblivious, regardless with either interpretation she was far from persuasive.

I also didn't like that there was no acknowledgment from anyone, especially given other characters bashing Bashir's programs, that Vic had previously interacted significantly with Odo and helped bring him and Kira together.
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Andrew
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Though a change, it probably wouldn't really be a bad thing (or that much of a change) if yes, every president from now on was investigated for a possible crime if there was at least significant evidence he (or assistants) had committed it, heck, yes, expand that to members of Congress too.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

A lot of good points have been made by everyone so far, especially at how jarring it is for Odo to go back immediately to being the trusted head-of-security welcoming Sisko back to the station after his serious betrayal. It should take far far more than just one "redemptive act" for him to earn back the trust of the "good guys".

Also good points at how bizarre Weyoun and the Founder seem to act after the ships disappear. Nobody seems to question why or how or "wtf?!?!" except Dukat. Didn't Weyoun or the Founder wonder what the hell was going on? I mean, I get that they realised they were in serious trouble and had to get out of there fast and there wasn't really time to sit around and ponder, but they just seem to... *accept* it, without any shock or confusion.

My biggest issue with this episode which just really took me out of it though is how the "defense fleet" makes no sense. After the Defiant makes it through the defense fleet, it then goes *maximum warp* to DS9. The defense fleet is not guarding DS9 directly, it's lightyears away. My question is, why not go maximum warp straight to DS9 from the beginning? Why stop in front of this defense fleet in the first place? We are never given any reason to think that this fleet can stop ships moving at warp from just warping right past it. If this were a land army or naval army, you can send tanks/ships away from the location you're defending, in order to stop other tanks/ships en route. But this just makes no sense given the Star Trek universe where ships can just move at warp usually completely unhindered, and we weren't told that this fleet could somehow stop ships at warp. Also, I know that they were trying to get to DS9 as fast as possible, but if the fleet *could* somehow intercept ships moving at warp, wouldn't it have been possible to just go slightly around them? Space is huge and empty, and the fleet occupies such a tiny tiny tiny portion of space.

As for the prophets, I wouldn't exactly call it a Deus Ex Machina, since as has been said already, they were introduced from the very beginning of the series as very powerful beings that resided in the wormhole. I think the bigger problem is just the inconsistency in how they are presented. I feel like we as an audience never really got a good feel for what the extent of the prophets' power is, and what their goals/motivations are, and what they are/aren't willing to do. Sometimes they don't seem to understand linear time or things in general, sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't seem to care or even be aware of Bajor and the corporeal world, sometimes they do. I get that they're meant to be a mystery, but the audience is just left wondering why they decided to help this time. If they are so powerful and they seem to care about Sisko, why doesn't Sisko go to them more often with requests or questions? They're not so much a Deus Ex Machina as much as a plothole; the fact that Sisko can just go to the prophets and get them to destroy thousands of ships makes one wonder why he hasn't done something like that before or why doesn't he do it again in the future. The prophets aren't well enough understood or explained for it to feel like there's a solid reason why Sisko *can't* interact with them more and use their overpowered abilities.

More generally, the way the Federation and the Cardassians and the Dominion and pretty much everyone (including the Bajorans themselves!) treats the Bajoran religion and the Prophets/Wormhole aliens makes no sense. From the moment the wormhole and the wormhole aliens were discovered; they should have been treated as a powerful alien race. The Bajoran religion should have been reanalysed as the cultural and social interpretation by the Bajorans of *contact* between them and the wormhole aliens. The Federation should be trying to make further contact with the wormhole aliens, better understand them. They should be studying the Bajoran prophecies and the Bajoran religion in an attempt to reconstruct to what extent it's true, to reconstruct how the wormhole aliens have been communicating with the Bajorans, to learn more about the wormhole aliens. Bajoran religion itself should be turned on its head now that you can *literally visit and talk to the gods*. The Federation and other cultures may not believe that the wormhole aliens are "gods" in a spiritual or theological sense, but they have to ascribe them power and powerful extradimensional beings, and accept that the religion on Bajor is highly influenced by them, and has some truth inasmuch as its "prophets" do exist.

Instead, everyone just treats the Bajoran religion like any other religion, making vague spiritual claims about souls and gods that cannot be tested, despite the fact that you certainly can test them because you literally just discovered the celestial temple!!!!!!! The Bajorans themselves still treat the prophets as these vague gods that one has to believe in with faith, and whose motives and desires can only be interpreted through prophecies and scripture, despite the fact that you can now literally go and visit them! When Sisko starts having these prophesies and finds B'hala, the Federation shouldn't be like "this crazy religion stuff makes us uncomfortable", they should be like "oh wow, it seems like those wormhole aliens are communicating with you telepathically somehow!". Why are they still treating the wormhole aliens as the made-up gods of the Bajoran religion when they've actually been physically discovered and their powers have been directly seen?!?!

It seems like Grand Nagus Zek was the only one intelligent enough to treat the wormhole aliens like... well... aliens, that one could communicate with and interact with and trade with. Everyone else seems to totally forget about them, treating them at best as some weird space anomaly that just is, and at worse as just the made-up invention of the Bajoran religion. Everyone just treats the wormhole like a natural phenomenon that one can fly through, forgetting that it was made by the wormhole aliens and is being maintained by them. And everyone keeps treating the Bajoran religion as no different to any other Earth religion. Including the Bajorans, mind you.

"Can anyone explain why shape-shifters feel it necessary to gain political and military power in the galaxy? They have "paradise" on their planet already -- why the powerlust?" - Paul York
"According to their own propaganda at least, they are paranoid about the solids reïnflicting their prejudiced persecution upon them (the irony is apparently, totally lost upon the entire link)." - Elliott
Odo has an inbuilt sense of justice. He feels it's his duty to enforce that justice, to punish the wicked. The Founders explain to him that what he feels is not a desire for justice, but *order*. The Founders also feel this desire for order, this desire to control the universe and bring it into order.
There could certainly be truth in the whole "we must control the solids to protect ourselves from them" motive, but from what we have seen of Odo and the rest of the founders, it seems they are very much control-freaks and just feel a need to control everything around them so the universe is nice and orderly and to their liking.
As for the irony of protecting themselves from persecution by persecuting the solids, it's clear that the Founders don't see solids as people. Only changelings are *people*; solids are just... animals more or less. Creatures to just use and exploit for the benefit of the Great Link.

As for SecMan's posts, I agree with most of their points, they articulated a lot of things I wanted to say, but I do disagree with their complain about Dukat. I think showing Dukat's descent into madness starting when victory was snatched away from him is fine. He was so so convinced the Dominion would win, victory was practically certain. He was fantasizing about how he would rule the alpha quadrant. This is a man who had lost everything, and who was finally finally about to get it all back, and more. To suddenly have that disappear with no rhyme or reason came as such a huge unprocessable shock. He had once again lost so much, but at least he still had Ziyal. He was a bit unhinged, but not completely insane. Once he lost Ziyal though, he had nothing, and he went completely insane.

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Andre Rhine-Davis
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 6:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I kept feeling like Odo was presenting his case to the Female Changeling really badly. She was like "Come join the Link" and he was like "umm... I can't" and she was like "because of Kira?"
I just wanted Odo to say something like "I do want to be part of our people and join the Great Link, but I cannot condone the behaviour of the Dominion and the way it treats solids. Unless you change your values and behaviours and start treating solids with respect and stop waging this war against the Alpha Quadrant, I'm afraid I must reject your offer".

But after reading all these comments here, I'm starting to think that maybe Odo *doesn't* actually care about the values and behaviour of the other changelings. Maybe Kira *is* the only reason why he doesn't join them! That's really kind of sad, tbh.

"I think this episode, rather than The Begotten, should have been where Odo is turned from being a solid back into being a changeling again." - Andrew
Yes, I totally agree with this! That would have made both this episode even better, and the whole "Odo as a human" arc much much better. His betrayal would have made much more sense, and then this whole change in Odo's personality would have been reflected in "Odo as a human" vs "Odo as a changeling", and he would have had to learn how to "come back to the good side" and find his old values again as a changeling.

"I like how the PADDs can't seem to hold more than one document or file at time. Gotta hand over thee PADDs?" - Tanner
Yeah, that's one part of Star Trek's technology that has not aged well. PADDs seem to just be "futuristic" versions of written reports/documents/books, but still with 1) each PADD being representing a single report/document/book, and 2) having to physically give a PADD to another person, rather than just sending the data wirelessly from one to another. Nowadays, only a decade or two later, this seems pathetically retrofuturistic. It reminds me of how in TOS when they show spaceships controls displaying numbers on an analog dial-based readout :P
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Andrew
Tue, Dec 25, 2018, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

Rewatching with very low expectations, it unfortunately is about as bad and as or more frustrating than I last thought ...

The film really feels like three (or more) very much at-odds types of film: the basic story and its heart, the drama, is flawed but still pretty good (there's just a little too little doubt, dilemma or urgency but it's still pretty effective both in taking a stand and being fairly balanced, the core Picard/Dougherty conflict is really well-done), the drama is mostly diminished just by having too little of it (especially not having any Riker actually persuading the Federation Council) and too much of the other types-the humor and action are way too forced and overdone and yet also half-hearted or even lackluster.

The regular cast feels way too apathetic really early on, then the early Picard/Anij interaction is pretty good although the closeness becomes just a little too rushed, then the romance feels really thrown-in, forced, also at odds with the basic story and its drama. Crusher and Troi get really little to do and poor Worf is really unfortunately wasted.
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Andrew
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

^Fine point about how an investigation can go quite a way beyond its initial parameters and that expansion actually be appropriate, justified, even still be within or at least related to the initial scope-and yet those investigated due to that expansion will almost invariably shout that the expansion is abusive and the investigation now obviously way out of hand.
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Andrew
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

Chakotay did do a pretty good job, as did Beltran of playing him, of somewhat-ambiguously combining his roles as B'Elanna's friend, comrade and superior officer.
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Mon, Oct 8, 2018, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: A Day in the Life

The commentary and responses on the Adama flashbacks says it all, pretty much. A day in the life of the whole ship would have been great.

The airlock scene was very frustrating. It wouldn't take too much research to have a more realistic scene with actual stakes, and it would have been more dangerous with a bigger breach, or they could be stuck in a container filling with liquid or something.

For a pinhole leak, you could just stick your finger over it, a piece of chewing gum, or the actual patch that the Chief used. It wasn't a high pressure environment, like a submarine, and it didn't have a different gas or liquid outside. A patched hole in a standard atmospheric pressure environment can't have a new hole form over it.

The 'emergency equipment breaks in an emergency' trope was a little annoying, as was instant lockdown with no warning, even for what should have been detected as a minor leak. For a major decompression, I could understand, but it was barely enough of a leak for them to hear, never mind for a sensor to detect and not confuse it for a fan or other occasional air movement.

Why did the outside door have blast pins for emergencies, but not the inside door?

'Freezing in a vacuum' is also a lazy trope. A vacuum is an excellent insulator.

If the pressure were so low, how are they expecting heavy crates or the door to be blown out into space? Even at a standard atmosphere pressure, you would need a lot of evacuating air to be able to blow something out. The huge launch tubes or the other giant airlocks, not the little access airlock. The gravity plating would also make it difficult for anything to be blown out, anyway.

Jaffey brings me coffee.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Sat, Oct 6, 2018, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

I liked this episode, but I didn't like the way Jake treated Nog here.
Jake pressured Nog into giving up all his latinum, which he had been saving up his whole life! And you know how much latinum means to Nog as a Ferengi. Would you like it if your friend pressured you to give up all the money you had saved for them? In the end they didn't win the auction, so Nog didn't even up actually losing any of it, but still... not cool Jake.

But yeah, this episode really does explicitly raise the question about humans and money. A good real world analogy is kibbutzim. Kibbutzim are small communistic communes/farms in Israel. A couple of hundred people live together in each kibbutz, where everyone works for the benefit of the whole kibbutz. There is no money and no individual ownership, everything is shared. Communism seems to actually work relatively well with these populations of a few hundred where everyone knows each other well and it's like one big family.
However, while kibbutzim are internally communistic, they are externally capitalistic. People living inside a kibbutz live a communistic life, but each kibbutz as a whole has money, it buys things and sells things with other kibbutzim and with businesses in general. If someone from the kibbutz needs to interact outside the kibbutz for some reason, say to go to a doctor or something, the kibbutz will supply them with the appropriate money from the kibbutz' fund.

I imagine this to be sort of how Earth (or the whole federation?????) works in Star Trek.
On Earth, there doesn't need to be money, because there is so much supply of everything that everyone just does what they want and gets what they want and there is no scarcity. In reality, I am not sure to what extent this could work, since individual people might still *want* to do personal projects, or might want the efforts of other people. If you want 100 other people to perform a play you have written, and nobody volunteers.... how can you get them to do it? What can you offer them in return? But whatever, I can suspend my disbelief and assume that the Earth does work without money.

But the way the Earth and/or the Federation interact with the Klingons or the Ferengi or the Bajorans or anyone else really has to be capitalistic. The Earth and/or the Federation must buy and sell things (well, "import" and "export" things) with other planets, and it needs latinum or some galactic currency to do so. I would imagine that when Earth citizens go to other planets or whatever, they would apply to the Earth government for some latinum to have for their trip. Similarly, I imagine that Starfleet Officers have access to Earth's latinum supply, or they can just charge the things they buy at Quark's or whatever with a "Starfleet" or "Earth" debit card which just uses the Earth's huge supply of latinum. Whatever they do, humans away from Earth (such as at DS9) should definitely get a latinum allowance from Earth *somehow*, or else how are they supposed to do anything or buy anything outside of Earth or the federation?

How does Jake buy food from Quark's? How does Jake buy anything from anywhere on DS9? I find it hard to believe he'd have to ask his father to use *his* "debit card", after all Jake is 18 now, he should have his own "debit card", even if it doesn't have unlimited access to Earth's latinum account since Jake isn't like a Starfleet Captain or anything. Jake should definitely have access to *some* latinum... his life on DS9 wouldn't make sense if he doesn't. So he really shouldn't need to ask Nog for his.

I mean, this also raises the question of "Why do people need to pay Quark at all, if he just gets stuff out of a replicator, and there are replicators all over the station?". But that's a whole nother issue.
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