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Andrew
Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Fourth Season Recap

I think it's pretty obvious that Voyager was intended to more-or-less be TNG continued, more TNG with a few tweaks, and even given that as it went on the producers and writers tended to become less ambitious and less interested in the few tweaks.

For Season 4, I agree with Jammer that the supporting characters were often pretty mechanical and OTOH Seven was usually interesting. Only a few misses ("Concerning Flight", "Retrospect", "The Killing Game, Part II" and especially "Demon", fewer big misses than in season 2 or 3), only "Year of Hell" a big success, the rest somewhere in the middle. With the average stories some were really lacking in ambition but the cast had become more likeable.
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Andrew
Sat, Jun 2, 2018, 9:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Any story will have events and timing-of-events that may seem contrived (although Janeway beaming to the other ship rather than beaming Arturis and her crew off and Seven being able to walk though a force field were a bit much). What I disliked more was the sensationalism of Janeway assuming that if Seven doesn't stay with them she'll just go back to the Borg and Seven saying she might.
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Andrew
Sat, May 12, 2018, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I don't mind the accusation turning out to be (probably, apparently) false. I very much mind that there was no explanation of what did cause Seven to have and believe the memory other than (vague) Borg background, a very weak and unconvincing pseudo-explanation.

The episode also awkwardly had Tuvok being impartial but for some reason just not very involved in the investigation, just choosing to or not choosing to but just randomly taking a backseat in the investigation to the less-impartial Doctor so that the accused could accuse the crew of not being impartial without Tuvok being too blatantly out-of-character.
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Andrew
Fri, May 4, 2018, 1:25am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

Not a huge Sarah Silverman fan but she is pretty talented and she did well here. The relationship between Paris and her character was definitely reminiscent of Kirk and Gillian in TVH but not too much so and still nice.

I overall liked the second part more than the first, despite the militia plot being very thrown in (and Starling not having much motivation) it seemed more engaged in the story more than just trying to set up and explain a story.
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Andrew
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Kellin did look and even act quite a bit like departed/forgotten character Kes, not sure whether that was intentional but it probably was, that doesn't add or detract much.
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Andrew
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

The first three-fourths or so were pretty dry and boring, with Chakotay coming off as way too Vulcan-level of reserve (OTOH, ironically, Tuvok making a joke was not great but pretty nice, at least trying), but the ending was quite strong, for as little interest in the relationship before (and as familiar as the type of story was) it was still effective to see Kellin so different and self-critical and not want to get close to Chakotay and for him to have to try to deal with that. It spoke interestingly to how, in general, are identities and actions can really depend on our memories and how without them the effects could be really different.

Yeah, there is considerable hypocrisy in Kellin formerly being a tracer, that felt so unaddressed that it almost felt addressed-that she did feel a lot of conflict about whether she should leave, if doing so was right, but her love for Chakotay overcame her initially wanting to/thinking she had to go back. But there should have been more dealing with possible regret.

Not sure why Janeway didn't have regret about having helped return a "fugitive" although that term implies the other had committed a genuine crime or was somehow actively harming Voyager so wasn't just a refugee.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Kira, after being separated from Meru, initially not wanting to help the resistance did feel pretty forced and inconsistent but otherwise I saw her as not having a problem with changing the timeline (for real) and I think that seems pretty in-character for her and an understandable rather than really bad character trait.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

I really like this episode, one of the series' best, and think it's unfortunately pretty overlooked. This is how you do moral ambiguity well and that the story is told from the perspective of and conflicts with Kira's typical black-and-white approach makes it all the more interesting and effective.

There's a very slight cop-out with the ending(s), that the episode suggests Kira saved her mother because her father was able to forgive and support her and then has Kira not saying that was a factor (just that she was her mother) but it's still very interesting for Kira to *not* consider her father doing that to be so significant and that she *was* able to both hate and partly forgive her mostly because she was her mother and that, without more explanation, covers a lot.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Pretty cute and, aside from the repetitive Alpha/Gamma Jem'Hadar conflict, well-paced but the climax and especially epilogue didn't have enough energy.
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Andrew
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

But it seemed quite a false choice between on the one hand turning into a totalitarian regime and on the other not having blood screenings of not everyone but the officers controlling the weapons and defenses and their family (I forget if that actually happened but I think it was implied, that since we don't want the extreme we shouldn't be anywhere near it). Granted that the episode was an allegory but not meant to be an exact or literal allegory (as the screening plot is about officers but the message is really about society in general) but, in part from that disconnect, the message does still seem pretty extreme.

Would you agree the show weakens the message, makes it feel too feel-good, to abandon the precautions and then not have more terrorist attacks occur later?
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Andrew
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

I thought the Hirogen were much, much more interesting than in the past episodes, both in their role as hunters (actually taking it seriously and feeling fresh) and otherwise. Part I felt a little stretched-out though and Part II far too random and badly-paced.
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Andrew
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

Surprised no one has mentioned Lauren's sultry line, "All those Admirals," which is one of the funniest one-liners in the entire series.

Mmm, all those Starfleet admirals.

Pure gold.
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Andrew
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

Also, I like Porthos. I think he's the best thing about Enterprise, and the Porthos aspects of this episode did not bother me one bit. Humans, particularly those with no children, tend to bond to dogs as if they were children. We all know that bond can be very deep and emotional, so while Archer definitely took it a bit too far, it is not unbelievable for me (as a dog owner with no children).
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Andrew
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 9:48am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

The whole sexual frustration angle in this episode is so disappointingly unnecessary and embarrassing. Did they have such a lack of confidence in their show that they felt the need to constantly just make T'Pol objectified eye candy with so little substance as a character?
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: Event Horizon

I think this film is pretty dumb-fun (it's pretty openly cliche, openly treating haunted space ship as equivalent to classic/cliche haunted house) and it especially works as a cynical commentary/sort of dark spoof of Star Trek and 2001, not outright anti-science but critical of the idea that fast speed and discovery, advancing technology, going to new places and the people doing so are necessarily good, necessarily noble.
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

As I recall, this episode didn't actually end with the holodeck characters realizing and accepting they were holodeck characters but with Janeway lying, claiming that her crew were time travelers from the future and that explained why they had powers-unless that was just supposed a metaphor.
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Andrew
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Worst Case Scenario

One thing I really liked was, even as the villain and even as written-by-Seska (!), holo-Chakotay still seemed pretty attracted to Janeway. Too bad that wasn't taken further later.
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Andrew
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@MiaBN "Garak could have solved this whole season's problems while hemming a dress." Haha, great observation, and literally true, if "In the Pale Moonlight" is any indication.

I liked what they were attempting to do, with Burnham defying orders to uphold Starfleet's principles after previously defying orders to try and start a war. That turnaround made a lot of sense to me, and it was the most Trek-like aspect of the episode. I guess it doesn't bother me that it was so easy to convince Cornwell to change course, since frankly, people lecturing each other about morality is kind of a Hallmark of Star Trek, and we haven't had enough of that on this show.

What does bother me is that the alternative plan they came up with no sense whatsoever. I agree with everyone above about the resolution to the war and L'Rell's role in that doesn't hold water in the slightest once you actually think about. There should have been another episode so we could have actually seen how all this was supposed to work. And to also see the hard work of negotiating a peace (while also building up the tension of the Klingons advancing on Earth). But we got this wacky-doodle ending where we they just hand the keys to their sworn enemy and have her sort it out somehow.

(SPOILERS for Deep Space Nine Below)

As for the genocide moral dilemma aspect, we've been here before. After rewatching DS9 I believe the most controversial episode of Star Trek isn't "In the Pale Moonlight" or "For the Uniform," but rather "When it Rains." There we learn the Federation not only contemplated genocide, but actually took all the steps to carry it out by infecting the Founders with a disease. This was a huge betrayal of the Roddenberry ideal, but the resolution made sense to me. Odo tells the female changeling to link with him so he can give her the cure, not in exchange for her surrender, but without asking for anything. That is true Trek idealism. Odo, a changeling, had a better understanding of Federation ideals than any of the Starfleet characters, including Sisko who just an episode prior had asked Odo not to take matters into his own hands.

I think that is how this season of Discovery should have ended, by taking a page from the Odo playbook, rather than by L'Rell awkwardly just threatening to kill everyone. This episode left me unsatisfied because we saw this exact same scenario work so much better on DS9. That's not to say there isn't a big distinction between threatening the use of genocide and actually doing it, so presenting Burnham as the hero is fine I guess. At least she's not completely morally bankrupt, but that's the most you can say really.

Weird random thoughts:

--What does the interior of the Enterprise look like? I feel like if it looks exactly like TOS it will be laughably out of place on this show, but if it looks more like the interior of the Discovery, everyone will say this show is stepping on nostalgia and get mad. Or will it look like the Abrams reboot Enterprise notwithstanding the fact that CBS doesn't have the movie rights? I feel like there's no good way to do this, only a wrong way.

--Also, someone mentioned it above, but wouldn't it be safer if the Discovery away team all wore green makeup on the away mission? They'd certainly draw a lot less attention that way. I did like the whole Blade Runner feel of the place though.

--Why do all the bad guy characters have to keep talking about eating each other?
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Andrew
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

I saw this episode as part of a big TNG rewatch (yes, every episode), and by this point, I was just so burnt out on all the Klingon stuff. With as much character potential as Worf had, I feel like they made him either ridiculous or boring in TNG, and this episode didn't help. Definitely not a fan of this one in the context of rewatching the whole series, but maybe if I took a long break and came back to it as one-off watch, I'd enjoy it more.
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

As for the Hirogen, not bad but a bit too much trying to be like the Klingons and Kazon yet again, even pretty Klingon-like in very similar ways as the unsuccessful Kazon had been.
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

I thought the bulk of the episode was fine (aside from Kim, waiting a long time for a letter and doubting it and finally getting it, and Paris's stories being a little too sappy) but uneven, especially it felt like Janeway, Chakotay and the episode overall were a bit callous in not caring much about the fate of the Maquis, having a lot more attention to that Mark moved on, and indeed ending in oh great Neelix is throwing a party.

Janeway also just seemed a bit too reckless-risky and the solution of how to get out of the confrontation (and its damage then being ignored) particularly artificial.
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

I'm afraid it does seem pretty smug by the characters and self-congratulatory by the writers to admit that terrorist attacks might happen but trying to prevent them isn't worth giving up any freedom/privacy rights-and then, after that, *not* have any more terrorist attacks actually happen. That's kind of taking a stand without dealing with the consequences. Of course most of Trek is episodic like that but the point of the Dominion was to have a continuing threat.
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I think quite good, close to but not quite being one of the best episodes.

The acting/character portrayals were all pretty unrestrained and some a little cliche though they were all generally effective. Auberjonois was pretty good at balancing enforcing pragmatism and antagonism but especially near the end a bit too much antagonism; I'm not sure what was really intended with the ending suggesting he was more of an outright villain, agreeing with the racism and firing Benny, even though he was also in a sense right as not he but the publisher refused to publish the story even with the dream ending and insisted on firing Benny. The whole conflict felt a little too one-sided, all the writers thinking and the viewer supposed to think that enough of the audience would accept the story, the writers kind of refusing to admit (or wanting Pabst to ignore) that they were making mass-market pulp entertainment. Shimerman's character gets off to a pretty bad or at least questionable start in raising Hell over hours-old donuts (given how strident he was it's not really believable that there hadn't been the Communist accusation before) as do the staff writers generally for gushing about the competitor (maybe more prestigious) sci fi magazine.

There were also a few too many characters, some pretty much just there to be played by the regular main cast (particularly Bashir's double and Dax's who, almost admitting that there are too many, had to be not included initially and then specifically introduced later). Although Visitor's and Meaney's were well-done and added a lot, especially in their earnest, helpful yet at-least-slightly demeaning ideas about the compromise dream ending.

The episode just tried to cover too much (Sisko's status as war leader, as the Prophets' Emissary, racism and discrimination, the power of fiction to inspire change, writers having to deal with censorship/publisher control generally, the passion writers feel for their creations, the uncertain nature of dreams vs. reality) even though it did most of it well. It did particularly well with its main themes of racism and the passion of writers (I thought the It's real climax was strong) but the parallels between Russell writing and Sisko as the Emissary and a wartime captain felt too strained (especially given how Russell seemed to in the end not succeed) even though they are ostensibly the main motivators to the story (and its connection to the larger series).
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Andrew
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 1:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

A bad guy turning against his brother for calling him dim is one of the funniest things I've seen but the ending felt halfhearted and like too much of a copout-Morn isn't really dead (not surprising, OK) but he also didn't just trick Quark to exploit him, well he did but he gives him a reward that satisfies Quark.
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Andrew Williams (AndrooUK)
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

Mining on Asteroid Whilst Being Stalked by Pervert Vulcans: Reed builds a snowman with Token Black.

Sex on Risa: Reed is having a good time and looking for alien poontang with Farmboy Warp Engineer.

Series 1.5 to 2 and beyond: Reed is a stoic and pessimistic asshat with no interpersonal skills or joy left in his heart.

Stick with a personality, writers!

Beam Reed back. He can stick his fingers in his leg when aboard, or just leave the sealing gel to fill the gap, and Phlox can fix him up with some eels and worms (forget gauze or stitches). Then detach the hull and be on your way.

PS: 'No trespassing' signs would ruin many a storyline for Star Trek...
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