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Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -5)
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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Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: I, Mudd

Trish said: "I'm not one to believe that message myself. Oh, sure, striving to overcome hardship has a certain value, but paradise would sure be nice. "

That was more a TOS trope, and a common trope found in the science fiction of the era. And so - typical of the zeitgeist of the time - Kirk's always railing against tyranny, fascists, hippies, techno-authoritarians, commies, utopians, with a kind of vague conception of 1960s, ruggedly individualistic western democracy covertly held up as the best of all worlds.

A strong skepticism of technology also runs through TOS. Cribbing from 1940s-50s science fiction, it promotes the idea that too much technology, and too many creature comforts, leads to stagnation, a kind of blind stupor, minds no longer challenged. In this way it flirts with a kind of Darwinian worldview (the old fascist credo, "hard times make better men"), but gets away with it because the Federation ultimately comes across as fairly egalitarian. Struggle is fine when you're base comforts are comfortably met.

TNG tends to be far less tech and/or utopia phobic. Indeed a lot of TNG plots reverse the messages of TOS plots. Men don't go crazy when granted power, androids are friendly, people infected with technology become better people etc. The skepticism of tech was still there (The Game, the Borg), but generally more even handed.
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Jason R.
Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 10:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

@Trent cool idea re having Garak, not Bashir, as the protagonist.
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Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 10:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

I thought this episode's central idea - saving people's lives by holding them in a holosuite - was a great one. That the saved folk intrude upon the private fantasies of the rather reserved Julian Bashir, is even better.

But I don't think the episode's holo-adventure is clever enough or funny enough to exploit these cool ideas. We've had decades of Bond parodies, and this episode never elevates itself above them. A big problem, I think, is because Garak is relegated to a background role. More interesting to have him actively trying to solve the holo-adventure, and contrast his "realistic" approach to solving the game, and spying and espionage in general, to that of Julian's fantastical Jame's Bond character. Have Garak be the hero. Have Julian learn from a real master. If you have a climax in which a bad guy gives a long winded Evil Villain speech, it's got to be a famously long-winded Cardassian giving the monologue! Not Sisko!

Everyone complains about the ridiculous first act of this episode, in which Sisko's brain is essentially too big to store inside DS9's computers. I'm surprised Ronald Moore didn't fix this problem with some technobabble and tweaking.

Instead of an exploding runabout, for example, you can just have the episode's terrorists be hackers who've introduced a virus into DS9's Starfleet computers which identify the transporter logs of high ranking Federation officers, and immediately deletes them. The quick-thinking Miles then dumps Sisko and the gang into Quark's holodeck, which exists safely off the grid.

No need for DS9 to blackout, no need for a transporter log of a human to be incredulously big.
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Jason R.
Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 9:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

Booming did you just call the legal system a "scientific field"? :)
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Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

You statement is a testament to ignorance. First, many things can be very accurately predicted. second this show and many other shows depict a genius intellect as a form of super power which it isn't. Third, I doubt that you have even the faintest understanding of social scientific method.

And what false promises??? Do you know what science is? Social scientists make predictions based on empirical research. It is all build around falsifiability. These sciences are literally called probabilistic sciences, not deterministic, so no the people in the episode are doing the opposite of how social scientific method actually works.

Plus all the things, like predictions and measures based upon them, are done/provided by numerous scientific fields, first and foremost, economics, medicine and the legal system.

Medical researchers stop working! Dreubarik believes that what you do is witchcraft. How do you think the military works?!

I'm right now watching keeping up with the kardashians and this is still the dumbest thing I have heard today.
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Hotel bastardos
Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

Couldn't they just have let Geordie labour under the delusion that he'd finally popped his cherry whilst on Risa?
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Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 8:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

I asolutely LOVE this episode. Beyond how well it is used to analyze one of the show's protagonists, it is a wonderful devastating commentary on technocracy, the rule of the sage elites and the false promise of social science (appropiately dissecting the difference between "risk," as portrayed by games of chance, and the "epistemic uncertainty" that characterizes the real world and foils attempts to make predictions about human societies). An incredibly relevant episode from the perspective of political commentary and one that many in academia should be compelled to watch. In the Top 5 DS9 episodes for me. Bravo.
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Mon, Sep 21, 2020, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Affliction

Come on, three and a half stars! That euthanasia was laugh-out-loud hilarious!

Enjoyed so much of this episode.

Loved seeing a young Captain Mercer from the Orville, when he was just an Ensign reporting to Tucker on the Columbia.

Agree @Rahul, Malcolm Reed was fantastic! I actually shed a tear when he was in the brig and told Archer that he had some loyalties beyond the Captain and this crew. And then Archer sprung his father and the Royal Navy. The look on Reed's face!

The scene with ninja Hoshi fighting hooded kidnappers is weirdly similar to Star Trek: Picard and Soji fighting hooded kidnappers ( ).
Maybe TPTB just don't have very many new ideas for nuTrek?

Hernandez would have been a much better lead for the show than Archer.

And can we just stop to say, this episode of Enterprise ("Affliction") is a much more Star-Trek-like story than the 2013 "Into Darkness", which also had Augments and Klingons.

Truly TPTB behind nuTrek have no new ideas.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

I am definitely floating in the middle between two very different reactions to the episode, thinking both the lovers and detractors are going overboard.

I think Jammer and the lovers definitely overrate the goings on in this episode with four stars. To me, it was too ambiguous for that. A true classic ought to be more universally understood. Something with this many unanswered questions and confusion just can't go the full 4-stars with me.

But I also don't get the full-on boredom and hate. There are a lot of interesting moments and thoughts here. The visceral reaction to the religion/afterlife themes are odd to me, too. Those themes are fine for exploration to me.

I'm like a strong 2.5 stars or weak 3 stars here, seeing the value in the acting, the production and the premise, but it's definitely no Top 10 Voyager for me.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: I, Mudd

I can't count how many times I've seen this (or any other) Trek episode, but for some reason tonight was the first time I thought about how it is an example of Trek's recurring attempt to convince itself that life as it has worked out is the best of all possible worlds, and it would actually be bad to change things, even (or especially) the tough things.

It's often presented as a struggle against the rigid order imposed by technology, as in this episode where the humanoids have to argue to death the androids that want to conquer them by waiting on them hand and foot, or in "Return of the Archons" where Landru's "peace and joy" stagnates a society, much as Vaal stagnates the primitives in "The Apple." But it's also there in "The Paradise Syndrome"; thought Kirk is unspeakably happy among the quasi-Indians, his salvation is to return to the ship, rather like Picard returning to the Enterprise from a lifetime on a planet long dead.

I'm almost starting to wonder if any episode ISN'T about "this is the best of all possible worlds, so embrace your hardships; they're better than happiness."

I'm not one to believe that message myself. Oh, sure, striving to overcome hardship has a certain value, but paradise would sure be nice.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

IMO this is an excellent episode, handing big issues in a nice, quiet, pleasantly low-key way. But then I've always preferred DS9's Bajor/Federation episodes to the Dominion/Federation stuff. The Bajoran villains always seemed sneakier, and more interesting, relevant and plausible, than the Dominion and their various underlings.

I agree with the positive comments above, and also the various criticisms voiced by folk like William and Elliot. But we must remember that DS9's producers fought hard to crush most Bajoran scripts from season 3 onwards. The ratings for these episodes were low, the Trek fans hated them, and the producers didn't understand them. That the show was doing its best stuff, and treading quite fresh waters in these episodes, went over everyone's head at the time.

The result of these producer mandates was that the Bajoran political/religious stuff had to be squashed into just a handful of episodes. And so stuff wasn't fleshed out, avenues weren't investigated and plot lines were not fully explored. Had DS9 been allowed to really interrogate the Worm Hole Aliens (as William writes above, they're basically committing murder in this episode), and been given the room to offer a more nuanced view of Bajorans themselves (add a few Bajoran skeptics, and some sympathetic believers, rather than portraying them as a fanatical horde), the show would have IMO been even more impressive.

Some commenters above - including Jammer in his review - have called the ending of this episode a bit pointless. The episode is a giant Reset Button, Jammer says, Sisko starting the episode the Emissary and ending the episode the Emissary once again.

But of course that's the point. Sisko's now a kind of True Believer. He's learnt to have faith. He doesn't quite understand the motivations of the Worm Hole Aliens, but he understands that they have a Plan, that they See Everything, and that their Plan for him has serious consequences. He understands the gravity and the importance of his role.

(Incidentally, it was cool seeing Sisko performing wedding ceremonies and other rituals in this episode, something that Kirk and Picard occasionally did as well. I love when the Federation is shown to be doing Federationy Stuff.)

None of the comments above have talked much about the Miles subplot in this episode. Yes, it works fairly well as light comedy, but it's also used to echo Sisko's arc.

Miles, like Sisko, has an established role and comfortable past life. But Keiko's return with the baby, like the return of the Bajoran Emissary, upends his traditions and customs (as a holodeck loving, dart throwing, frivolous pseudo-bachelor). Miles then accepts his duties to Keiko and the baby, as Sisko learns to accept his duty as a figurative father to Bajor. In doing so both are granted not only peace of mind, but direction and order. Keiko literally brings order to Miles' messy, furniture strewn apartment, and plays god by going behind the scenes to schedule play-dates between him and Bashir. Echoing Keiko's role as puppet-master is of course the Worm Hole Aliens, who do this on a larger scale, positioning Sisko, and indeed entire cultures, as they attempt to mitigate the chaos of the Dominion.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

On a rewatch i just saw that the women had trill spots.

And i am really dissapointed how they apparently just reused them to introduce a new race.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

I don't think it's quite true that AIs always revolt or turn hostile in sci-fi, at least not if considered at the individual level. Data is a prime example of one who didn't, and Blake's 7 had Zen and Slave, who were generally loyal to the ship's crew even though Zen could occasionally be oblique and mysterious and had his programming commandeered once. (Orac, on the other hand, sometimes had his own agenda that didn't always dovetail with the crew's.) And in Mass Effect, EDI actually proves entirely trustworthy when her programming constraints are removed.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

I always thought that the Valiant's crew should have survived and got their own spin-off show, may be have them explore the Gamma Quadrant which was under utilized in DS9. It would have been better than Discovery.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

Is it just me or does this episode seem to be the birth of the concept of The Matrix...
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 8:53am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Actually, the fact that the Dominion fleet engages the Allied fleet a few light years away from DS9 makes sense within the premise of the show: Sisko's main goal is to disable DS9's anti-graviton emitter to prevent the Dominion fleet from deactivating the minefield. It is stated that he wants to reach DS9 with enough ships to do so even if the overall battle doesn't go well. So it would make no sense for the Dominion to wage battle at a location where any potshot from a random enemy vessel could have disabled the emitter.

What DOESN'T quite make sense about this premise is the fact that DS9's deflector is made to be so special because it can be turned into an anti-graviton emitter. Surely, any large vessel's deflector array could do the same, or an appropiate device could be shipped from Cardassia. At no point is there any reason to believe that Terok Nor's deflector technology is somehow special.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 8:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

>> I was disappointed that Picard resorted to swearing in Klingon. Undignified.

When interacting with Klingons, it is the an appropriate response to having one's honor challenged. In other circumstances, Picard might have been obligated to fight.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Manhunt

I don't know. I forgot this one existed. And after all this time I'm actually thrilled to just hang out with the crew and watch them shoot the shit.

I didn't love Manhunt back in the day, but this time I was utterly charmed. I had to back it up every few minutes to catch everyone's expressions. Clearly the cast had a ball.

Sometimes I don't want a plot: it's nice to watch my friends having fun. And Lwaxana did save the conference. It was nice to see her being competent. ;-)

I also got a kick out of seeing Worf be obsessed with the Antidians. Early Worf cracks me up. And I could see he and Pulaski had a fine familiarity -- good continuity from their tea ceremony.

It's a cheery little episode.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 9:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Civil Defense

I liked this episode and found it entertaining, but my biggest issue was that it's just so insanely unrealistic. Having a pre-recorded message for every single variable just seems very unlikely, but even so having it automatically destroy the entire station without someone needing to authorize that is just impossible to believe.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Probably the latter.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

One of the best DS9 episodes ever made. Perhaps a scene that doesn't get noticed enough but is key for the story's thematic undertone is when Sisko first meets the Jem'Hadar Third and tries to manipulate him to serve his own ends (a fact Dax them comments on). The core of the episode seems to be about how war is fundamentally about manipulating the troops to do the bidding of the higher echelons without regard for their own lives. This is what "the order of things" inevitably is, and Sisko isn't above it either. In the end, however, Sisko's actions do show that there is indeed more to war than that.
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Cody B
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant


I know exactly what you are saying. Imo how good any show is lives and dies on your relationship with the characters and how well they are written. For me a lot of political/war episodes seem to “zoom out” and get too large scale, too much going on, too many moving pieces. While some of the comedy episodes that focus on just a few characters show more of who they are and I find heartwarming
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Paul C
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

So Cyrus Ramsey stepped into the transporter... and vanished. Sure I’ve heard something similar before...

Interesting build up to this episode but awful ending. Such a disappointment.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

I feel some of you missed the "non-com" comments Goran'Agar made when they landed the runabout. It's clear to me the episode is divided between strategic and tactical thinking, one reserved to commanders, and the other to soldiers. Given that, it's pretty clear O'brien's rationale is similar to the Jem'Hadars he hates so much, incapable of thinking beyond their feuds and present. No wonder he only identifies with that random soldier ranting he also hates being helped by humans. It's stupid. On the other hand, Bashir realizes that, in the long term, relieving the Jem'Hadar from the addiction could set a military mutiny in their enemies, as Goran'Agar realizes that, in the long term, they have been sistematically exploited and are no different than the religious people they have butchered. A matter of strategic and tactical thinking.
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