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BZ
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

I'd say Saru and Tilly are interesting characters. Stamets to a certain extent as well. Lorca would have been interesting had his character not gone off the rails. In fact, he was shaping up to be the most interesting on the show, which is part of why the MU arc destroyed the whole season for me. And now we have Pike who pretty much outshines everyone else this season.

As of season 1 on TNG, I'd say only Picard and Data were established as anything special. Voyager's truly interesting season 1 characters were The Doctor and Tuvok; maybe Tom Paris could be on that list too. DS9 had a lot more, and had probably the best season 1 in all of Trek.
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BZ
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

Seriously, what's wrong with the temporal cold war, or at least the idea of it? If executed well, it could have been a great story arc.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 25, 2019, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

@Jason R,
The problem with a heavily serialized show like Discovery in S1 is that you can't really rate most episodes as you watch them. You have to look at them as a whole. And any episode featuring Lorca or the Klingon war is ruined by the revelations in the MU arc and the finale respectively. This really leaves only the series premiere and two "episodic" episodes to somewhat stand on their own two feet. In S2 most of these episodes will hold up regardless of how the red angel and Spock story lines resolve themselves. The episodes will be *enhanced* if it's a good resolution, but not really hurt if it's a bad one.
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BZ
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

In retrospect, it's obvious that Lorca hired Michael because he needed her in the MU. Note how reluctant he was to put her in harm's way in S1.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

One question I don't think anyone has asked yet is what Saru's change implies given what happened in "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" last season. From what little we see of the "new" Saru in this episode, he doesn't seem mentally unstable or super-selfish like he was in that episode (although it does seem like he is willing to disregard the Prime Directive to reach out to his people again). Maybe Saru's new state is not the same as the one in that episode, but those events should at least be brought up and hand-waved if they're not going to be explored in future episodes.
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BZ
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 7:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

I actually liked this one. I can't explain it rationally, but I liked it. At the end of the episode, I didn't react with "huh?" or "that's it?", but with that sense of contentment that I didn't totally waste an hour. And I absolutely thought Saru might die. We had major characters die before. Was the episode wonderful flawless, etc? No, but one of the best of discovery so far.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 4, 2019, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Point of Light

This feels like trying to apply season 2's format to a part of season 1's story line. We have a self-contained Klingon story line (the baby is discovered and dealt with. L'Rell's leadership is challenged and dealt with) while slowly progressing the season ark (the red angel stuff). The problem (well, one problem) is that it's too much for one episode. Another problem is that I never cared about the internal Klingon stuff, and still don't. And the Tilly/ghost stuff is handled like Season 1, which is to say serialized badly. Like last season's Ash/Voq reveal, it was too soon and pointless from the plot perspective.

I'm still curious about what the red angels are and what's going on with Spock, but the rest of the episode is just the worst of S1 mixed with the worst of S2.

The best I can say is that the new format is theoretically better than the old, and lends itself more to truly good episodes. I just hope we get some soon.
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BZ
Thu, Jan 31, 2019, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

I'm going to say "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" is still my favorite episode of Discovery so far. Most of season 1 got worse in retrospect given how the MU and Ash/Voq plots played out. This is one of two relatively standalone episodes in S1 and, as such, wasn't impacted by those revelations. Now it's not perfect by any means, but it introduces meaningful differences to "Cause and Effect" (one of my favorite Trek episodes of all time) to not be derivative.

S2 so far doesn't feel as good. As I said before, we need more plot in standalone episodes, something "Magic" delivered.
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BZ
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

I feel like, while the first two episodes are indeed more like Star Trek, there just isn't enough that happens in them.

So the action on the planet consists of the following: spending a long time figuring out the history by themselves, spending a long time being told the same history by the locals, talking with that one guy who prefers science over religion. Confirming his suspicions, making him not tell anyone.

The action on the ship is even worse. The planet is in danger and is saved by cool SFX. That's it.

There is no moral dilemma in this episode, no character development (except maybe Tilly), no allegory, nothing. The religion vs science debate is a short conversation not leading to anything of consequence (except Michael following an order for once).

When previous series had a similar premise, you'd have real drama baked in, maybe a crew member falls in love with, or befriends, someone on the planet, someone breaks a law and is sentenced to some harsh punishment, there is some internal conflict the crew unwittingly gets involved in, something. But here, nothing of consequence happens.

This happened often in season 1 as well, but there was always a hook for what comes next, so suspense was building throughout the season, and everything hinged on how the season ark was resolved (answer: badly, but that's a different issue). Now that we have more standalone episodes you can't really do that. The red angel thing is a subtext, it's not the meat of the series (so far). We need more to get invested in the episode.

Or at least I do.
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BZ
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

So I finally watched this after somehow missing it during my original TOS watching years ago. While watching I had to keep reminding myself that this is the prototype time-travel episode before they came up with plausible ways to avoid ridiculous contrivances (currents in time? Calculating the time to enter the portal to within a week's precision?). Of course it's not unique to this episode. The whole theory of convergent evolution used to explain identical human aliens comes to mind.

Then the premise. One woman's pacifist movement delays (not prevents) US entering the war and saving the day. There is so much wrong here. Pearl Harbor was already mentioned, but no one said anything about the little detail that the war was basically already won when the US opened the second front. Any delay would mean the war was over. At least the war between Germany/Italy and the allies. Any action Japan might have undertaken unilaterally is a wildcard, but it certainly wouldn't be Hitler's nuclear bombs attacking the US. And Japan alone would not under any circumstances outright win a war with the US. I mean Enterprise's horrible Nazi episode provided a more plausible reason for Germans to win, doing something in Russia (assassinating Lenin in Enterprise's case).

But I guess none of it matters if the drama made up for it and... I wasn't impressed. It just didn't move me for whatever reason.
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BZ
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I'd say another reason to make a prequel is to explore how events lead up to what you already know about your favorite characters / races / etc. We got a bit of that in the JJ reboots (early in the first film mostly) and a bit more in Enterprise. We did get a tiny bit of this in Discovery (Sarek's relationship with Spock and more of his life pre-TNG), but not enough to justify it.

But it's not true that DSC being serialized means it can't recover from a bad first season. There is nothing from Season 1 that needs to ever be brought up again aside from the spore drive, which needs to be wrapped up, and Michael's basic character growth outline (which isn't bad as far as backstories go).
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BZ
Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

@Paul M,
The score sets the mood for the scene. A great score enhances your viewing without you being consciously aware why it's being enhanced.
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BZ
Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

While I still think this is a great episode (despite how primitive TNG Borg appear now), I have to disagree about the score. The fact I'm even noticing that it's there is the first indicator that there is a problem. The problem is, the entire episode, from beginning to end, has the "something ominous is happening" music, even when nothing ominous is happening. Take the opening captain's log:
"Captain's log, Stardate 43989.1. The Enterprise has arrived at Jouret IV in response to a distress signal from one of the Federation's outermost colonies."
Ok, yes, there was a distress call, but the music sounds more like "Captaibn's log. The Enterprise is about to be ripped to pieces and there's no time to abandon ship". In other words, over the top. Had it been subtle foreboding building up to a climax when Picard is taken or something, that's one thing. But really? The whole episode?
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BZ
Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I find it odd that Picard figures out what's going on, but doesn't tell anyone. It's not necessary for the show to work as a mystery, and there's no in-universe reason to keep the crew in the dark. The other oddness is the music box and its connection to Troy. In that there isn't one, except the music Troy hears is the same as that of the music box and that it starts when Crusher picks it up. It makes me think the plot was somewhat reworked at the last minute. Perhaps Troy and Picard were meant to be the ones on the first away mission instead of Riker and Crusher, but the writers felt it would make the mystery too easy to solve.
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BZ
Tue, Feb 27, 2018, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

My favorite TNG episode of all time. One thing I only realized with the latest viewing is that almost the entire episode is from Crusher's point of view. I believe the only scenes where she's not present occur during the final timeline with Geordi and Data getting some screen time alone, and a bit of Picard reading in his quarters.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 26, 2018, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Dom,
I think BSG was consistently good until about the last season when it became apparent that the creators had no idea how to end the show. That is simply inexcusable on a serialized show. Of course Trek is known for this type of thing in individual two-parters, where part 2 is often written by a different writer after part 1 is already done. I can't speak for the other shows you listed since I've never watched them.
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BZ
Sun, Feb 18, 2018, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.,
To be fair, Sarek only said it worked for the Vulcans, and explicitly cautioned that the Shenzou's situation may be different.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

What I want to know is when did this disunity happen? During Enterprise era, it's pretty evident that the Klingons as united as they are in TNG. It's harder to tell during TOS, but I'd still say they are united there as well.
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BZ
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Adonis,
I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not any sort of gatekeeper. I was a casual watcher of TNG, but became a hardcore fan during Season 3 of Voyager. Despite this, I consider TNG and DS9 my favorite. I enjoyed just about every series and movie to some extent, Including the J.J. Abrams reboot.

So in light of that, my thoughts on Discovery:
- We are explicitly told this is not a reboot. This is meant to be a real prequel to TOS. Now unlike some, I don't mind a technological refresh, like what ENT has done, where the ship sets, aliens, etc were changed enough to look futuristic, but still evoke a prequel aesthetic. What was done in DSC goes beyond that. My biggest complaint is holographic communications and Klingon redesign. These things aren't done because TOS-style communications and ENT-style Klingon makeup look dated - they don't. It was done for no apparent reason whatsoever. Notice that I haven't mentioned the spore drive either. It's a plot device like any other, and can be used for good or ill.
- Even all of the above is on a level of a minor gripe to me if a compelling story is being told. Notice, too, that I'm not complaining about a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry's ideals. If the crew's actions are justified by the story, I'm all on board with it.
- But this episode, being the finale of a serialized season, makes no sense from beginning to end. I'm not talking about canon or tech. I'm talking about on its own terms.
- Why do we need emperor Georgiou to come up with the plan? Nothing she contributes can't be obtained elsewhere. The map of the caves is a dated black market map. The insight that Klingons will never give up can be provided by L'Rell or Voq/Tyler. The bomb is not some MU contraption.
- How can they trust Georgiou for a moment as captain?
- How can they trust L'Rell for a moment? If the threat of genocide (as opposed to actual genocide) will end the war, the feds can deliver it directly
- Michael's supposed character ark is just not there. She is consistent in her inconsistencies if that makes sense. One minute she's a Vulcan. The next she's an emotional basket case. One minute she's onboard with Lorca's actions. The next she's a defender of Starfleet's ideals. It just makes no sense. Tilly has an arc. Voq/Tyler has an arc. Stamets and Saru... well, a little. Michael? No, not at all.

I'll continue to watch, but it's telling that one of my favorite episodes this season is the Mudd time loop one.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Trent,
Of course it's immoral to release her, though if the ridiculous premise of the show is to be taken at face value (she's the only one that can save the federation from the Klingons) one might argue that Starfleet had to compromise with her to get her to help. Then they can't really renege later because it's not Georgiou's fault Michael talked them out of following through with her plan.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@artymiss,
Well, it depends on whether the MU and the PU have an extradition treaty. Seriously, it is, of course, a bad idea, but I don't think it's illegal. I mean former dictators go into self-imposed exile abroad here on Earth all the time.
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BZ
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

My biggest problem here is L'rell and I can't really get past that because the whole episode hinges on her plot point.

L'rell was originally a pupped-master behind the scenes. She created the Ash/Voq hybrid to do... something, but certainly not anything sympathetic to Starfleet. She was all on-board with the "Remain Klingon" xenophobia thing. Then she was captured and, during her time aboard Discovery, was basically used to be interrogated as the face of the Klingons. During her time on the ship, the only thing she did that was good for Our Heroes is stabilize Ash/Voq. And she only did that because she "loved him".

So why the hell would she end the war? She's basically the torchbearer now. Of a movement defined by uniting the empire in the face of a common enemy. She herself was saying just last episode that the Klingons will not stop fighting back until they either win or are utterly defeated. L'Rell is not against this course of action at all. So again, why stop?

I can go on, but I think I've made my point.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

I think we know very little about mind melds. Sure, they've been used as allegory for sex in the past (see Enterprise), but something does not need to always be an allegory for the same thing. TOS Klingons were an allegory for the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union broke up (which itself was portrayed using Klingons as allegory) and we still have Klingons on Star Trek. They're not Russians in Space anymore.

We've seen very different depictions of mind melds, from sharing thoughts to reading them to occupying some sort of virtual space and conversing with someone who is braindamaged to mind control to part of mating. How do we know there aren't kinds or levels of mind melds?

On the other hand, human (and holographic) doctors have been shown to be distrustful of them, which implies there isn't a Starfleet regulation about them. It's inconsistent to say the least.
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BZ
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Sisko manged to carry DS9 despite his acting being subpar, especially when any sort of anger was involved. I find Jeri Ryan's acting to be quite good. SMG, hard to tell so far, I don't see much of a problem.

The thing is, a great character (as written) can be carried by an ok actor (Brooks). An ok character can be elevated by a great actor. I can't think of a good Trtek example. Maybe Tuvok. It remains to be seen how Burnham turns out.
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BZ
Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 6:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Henson,

I'm not suggesting anything in-universe, but now that you mention it, it does make sense, given her "cadet to captain just like that" talk with Tilly. That sounded wrong to me, but I thought it was just a clumsy turn of phrase. Maybe that was *her* experience and Sarek *did* use his connections to fast track her. He did say "we'll find a place for her in Starfleet" implying something other than just sending her to the academy and letting her earn her way.
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