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Sat, Aug 10, 2019, 5:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Peter G.
Ok. I just don't like be accused of pushing certain ideologies when I make a statement that no sociologist would question.

"We all live in societies, use our brains, and consume lots of media, so are qualified in our own ways to speak about these, although perhaps not as 'experts' per se."

We all have brains, use knives and know where organs are so should we go to a doctor and say:"You know I think you should make the cut here to get to the appendix."

We can all read and we are all confronted with contracts and laws regularly so should you trust me giving you advice about the law more than a lawyer?

In my work for example I have never used feminist theory. I normally use rational choice theory and capital theory. All of that stands on a foundation of very complex methodology.

Most people seem to think that sociology is just talking about groups and stuff, so obviously anybody can do it.

I know I know. I'm snobbish again.
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Sat, Aug 10, 2019, 3:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Well, I have had these kind of debates where people watch a few videos or whatever and think that their view on sociology is relatively deep when it is actually just a twisted fantasy created by well poisoners like Jordan Peterson.
It is spreading like a fever. There is no place on the internet where you are save from this notion that sociology has been taken over by feminists to create an "unnatural" society.

It is kind of funny that we have this debate while discussing this episode because the men who push these ideas are in a way like Kamala. Capitalism and pop culture have created a problem. Wealth distribution is very unequal, which means that bigger and biger chunks of society are lower class or lower middle class. These people cannot find meaning in their wealth. Pop culture especially in the USA has created a culture in where you are only living a meaningful life if you are special (sport star, war hero) of course only a very small number can be special. Women have a different approach to this and I wont go into that. For men from the lower classes life basically doesn't make sense anymore. They do what they are told like Kamala (work and so on) but that doesn't fullfill them. They realize at some point that they just exist to exist.

In come people like Jordan Peterson who first writes a pretty standard self help book and then starts to tell these men that there is a conspiracy out there, which is aimed at diminishing men and promoting the well being of other groups. That scientists aren't scientists but ideological warriors who promote a anti men world view. These men who feel disempowered while living a perceived meaningless life hear this and now feel a little special. They are now part of a group of people who knows a deeper truth and the self help stuff ist mostly about feeling in control (clean your room and so on). So people like Peterson have given these men two things that are very important for anybody: confidence and the feeling to be special. At that point these men are willing to do a lot for somebody who gives them that feeling. To quote President Trump:" I could shot somebody on fifth Aveneue and not lose any voters." He told it as a joke but I think it is true. He makes them feel important and valued.

They are attacking scientists because we know the numbers, we know how it actually is which is often in conflict to what they want, plus we are not good at defending us against outside critique, especially when it is immediatly clear that the person talking has no understanding of sociology (insert scientific field here) whatsoever. During the first few debates you try to be reasonable, provide sources, explain what the scientific viewpoint is, pros and cons. You basically do what you would do when you talk to another scientist because that is what we normally do when we discuss these things but then you notice that the other person just flat out denies what you are saying and tries to push certain topics which at first just confuse you because they make no sense. Sooner or later you reach a point where you realize that this is not about reason but emotions. At that point it also becomes hurtful because these people basically tell you that what you do, what you have dedicated your life to is some devious conspiracy aimed at harming people and that is where the intellectual snobbery and the passive aggressiveness starts.
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Fri, Aug 9, 2019, 4:33pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Jason R.
I know what your angle is. I know the Jordan Peterson talking points. Thats why you try to prove that a generally accepted sociological fact is actually some brainchild of feminism which would then gives you what you want: Calling scientific facts ideology.

I'm not playing your little game anymore and I'm done with you.
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Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 12:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

What you guys don't understand is that explaining very basic concepts to you isn't the least bit interesting for me. For example what feminist theory (not Feminism) means in sociology and why what I said about patriarchical societies has nothing to to with femnist theory or feminism.

If an economist explains that the Athenian economy was dependent on slaves then that doesn't mean that he is for or against slavery. He is stating generally accepted fact.

In sociology these days we mostly deal in statistics which means very complexe math and programming languages. This believe that feminists are important in sociology is just nonsense and to me it feels more and more like the bullshit climate scientists have to endure.
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Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 10:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Jason R.

You know Jason I wrote a really long piece calmly explaining lots of things about your warped view of sociology and other things but then I remembered what a fellow soldier once said after falling down next to me after we finished a 20 km march with 40 kg of material and one last glorious stumbling/crawling/climbing and running through the obstacle course.

What for?

Enjoy the summer.
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Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 9:00am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Jason R.
"Your assertions about us living in a "patriarchal society"etc... seemed pretty self-evidently feminist to me"
Would you not say that a western societies in the 90s were overwhelmingly ruled by men? If you would answer yes then the word patriarchical society is fitting.
To quote the Oxford dictionary:" A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it."

The societies portrayed (the Kriosians and the other ones) have only male representatives and have no problem with using women as peace offerings. If women were equal in their societies and the female metamorph poses such a risk to men why not just send a female ambassador? The thought apparently never crossed their minds There is no indication that they are not patriarchical societies.

So far I see no feminist perspective. I'm just using standard sociological terminology and stating the obvious.

"As to your second question, apart from the fact that my assertion was plainly true? I dunno - I got this my ideology isn't ideology but obvious truth vibe from your post."
Would you say that the USA were not a patriarchical society during the 90s? If so then I would love to see your prove for that.

" This was after you labelled another poster "masculanist" (whatever that means)"
You do have google, don't you? The word is masculinist.

"And yeah I did take a women's studies course once upon a time"
How did that come about? Didn't you once mention that you have no higher education?

"So what's your deal anyway? Is "feminist" a pejorative label in your milieu?"
No again. I find it more interesting why think that someone who mentions easily verifiable facts about male female relations is a feminist.

You on the other hand seem determined to label me in a way that you think devalues my opinion?
Let's make this easy.
Do you agree with Skepticals statement:
"given the general societal pressure of telling men that the women are ALWAYS right when it comes to relationship issues, and that a man who marries should get used to losing every argument?"
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Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 7:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@Jason R.
"Why? Is it offensive to you? "
No. Could you answer the questions, please.
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Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 6:03am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@Jason R.

"Uh yeah you are buddy. Straight out of Women's Studies 101. "
I never was in such a course/seminar. Could point to specific points or arguments and also explain why you see them as feminist?
Could you also explain why you felt the need to make that statement about me?
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Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 2:19am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Before I write anything I want to mention that we are discussing topics of a pretty mediocre episode.

I haven't studied film but of course writers uses cultural cues to create believable/ understandable worlds. In Nazi Germany they made lots of movies about Jews, often without the protagonists being called Jews. The social cues were clear. A lot of people already had prejudice towards Jews (sexually deviant, greedy). So allegories can be really important, especially if you have negative intent. Let's use something more current. Breaking Bad is a story about a white middle class self perceived loser who then shows the world and his wife that he is really a tough guy. He also kills evil Latinos every season. Apart from the last season where he kills Nazis. Phew without the Nazis at the end this could have looked a little racist.
As always context is king (or queen).

"I mean, Booming, it seems pretty clear that you are looking at this from a feminist perspective." No, not really. You are looking at it from a masculinist point of view which you perceive as normal.

Again. It is a show written by men in patriarchical society about two patriarchical societies that exchange a woman as a gift and that gift is the "perfect mate" for men because she will always do what the man wants. This gifting is all made possible by another man who is the higest authority and the only female voice in the episode has absolutely no impact on the outcome whatsoever. Does the Federation have to help these people directly in their little pervy deal. Could they not just recommend a trustworthy shipping/taxi company?

"If the roles were reversed, and this was a male metamorph, would we be complaining about the societal problems of expecting a man to change on a woman's whims?"
If it was written by women in a matriarchical society about matriarchical societies exchanging men as gifts you can bet your ass I would object that as much as I object this but I guess we will have to wait until such a situation actually arises. How many female presidents did the USA have, how many Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, how many female supreme court justices (4 out of 114), how many CEOs of Dow Jones companies, how many women are in the fortune 500
I get called feminist quite a bit these days for upholding ethical principles like sexual slavery=bad.

"why should I care that deeply about what a few nobles did hundreds of years ago?" It wasn't a few nobles a few hundred years back. It was the scoietal norm for almost any women until a few decades ago, basically until the early 60s. Plus in many parts of the world it is still the norm, enforced by society.

" given the general societal pressure of telling men that the women are ALWAYS right when it comes to relationship issues, and that a man who marries should get used to losing every argument?"
I guess this is where this whole rant of yours comes from. Your perception of reality seems a little off. I guess it is understandable because of President Hillary Clinton. People had the choice between a racist, misogynistic buffon and her. Of course she won. Now with the next election coming around two women are leading the democratic field. Their names are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Strange names for women, though. Oh and let's not forget that in quite a few states in the USA you are sent to prison now sometimes for life for having an abortion. And these laws were all written and then passed by all male legislatures. I could go on (read the part about positions of power in the paragraph before this one) but I think it is pretty obvious that society in the USA is not the matriarchy you perceive it to be. To give you a personal opinion of mine (not my opinion as a social scientist) I have quite a few friends with a good chunk being women. You know how many of them told me that they were raped? About half of them. Now guess how many went to the police? None. I'll leave it at that. A personal experience, sure but still.

" Booming brought up Code of Honor."
I mean Code of Honor is so racist. It even has the classic "Birth of a nation" trope of the black man craving white women. A thing that is very important for right wing narratives: The foreign man wants to steal OUR women.

" A message that is very clearly morally repugnant to me" That is why this episodes fails so horribly because it isn't only terribly racist but it also makes quite a few people, you included, think: The Enterprise (so us) should just bomb the shit out of these savages. It is not only racist but for people like you it justifies imperialism (we enlightened people have the right to do what we want to these uncivilized primitives)

"But do you really need this story to tell you that?"
Ok, this was aimed at Peter but I want to end my little piece here with it.
Yes, we do need stories to tell us right from wrong because Humans are not born with an ethical world view. I think that is one of the reasons we nerdistas still love Star Trek because it was one of the shows that was philosophical, that was analytical, that examined the role of society and culture and how the forces form, deform and sometimes destroy us. That we should always try to overcome our own prejudice. To try to be reasonable because to quote from a book (which was also pretty sexist) which I love nonetheless: "but the hearts of Men are easily corrupted" (women too, I guess)

So if you are JUST looking for a good story then Star Trek maybe the wrong franchise for you because the allegory has front and center in most epsodes even if it fails sometimes or didn't age well.
Maybe science fiction which is mostly about allegories is not the right genre for you.

I feel the need to point out that English isn't my first language. Misunderstandings can happen.
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Wed, Aug 7, 2019, 9:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

"At this point pretty much everybody has already accepted that the script is obviously an androcentric expression of creepy fantasy fulfillment by an an all male writing team. ... . We are discussing more nuanced things like the internal consistency of the story, ... ."
Time well spent. Have fun with your more nuanced debate about a creepy fantasy. :D
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Wed, Aug 7, 2019, 1:47am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

PPS: Sorry, reading my own post it is not a really deep sociological analysis based on theory. My bad but I'm on a vacation that slowly kills me. watch the Ellis vids :)
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Wed, Aug 7, 2019, 1:44am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

So, while I prepare my liver and digestive system for the next round of even bigger festivities let me just say that I enjoy this little debate here quite a bit.

As it is my job, let me give you a sociological perspective because that is really the only thing I can still add to this.

Isn't it nice how a bunch of reasonable men (or did a woman slip in?) can so rationally debate the pros and cons of two patriachical societies exchanging a woman as a gift under the supervision of another man. :)

Yeah, that is what really gives me an uneasy feeling. Let's really step out of the story and look at the whole process. It is a story written by men in a patriarchical society about two patriarchical societies that have no moral quandries to use woman as gifts. She then interacts with a wise older man who then teaches her about duty and self sacrifice which is the patriarchical cherry on top of the testosterone cake. Beverely is the only other woman in the episode and she makes it pretty clear what she thinks (strongly opposed) but that has no influence on the story. In other words women have no power and are forced into passive roles from beginning to end of the episode.

The writers probably thought that they wrote a somewhat feminist story but fail.
It reminds me of Code of honor. The writers of that episode probably thought that they constructed an episode that portrayed a proud African like people doing their thing but in reality they wrote a pretty racist story about how dark skinned people are different from "us".

I want to recommend Lindsay Ellis vids where she uses all the major film theories to analyze the Micahel Bays Transformer Movies. She for example addresses the whole no allegories vs authorial intent debate. It is really insightful.

ps: Maybe I will write a longer answer later on but I don't have time right now. ;)
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Tue, Aug 6, 2019, 9:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Theo
Thanks for a well argued answer.
I haven't seen the episode in for ever and I'm visiting family in a very rural area. My days consist of meat eating and alcohol. I have lots of time on my hands.

I think I understand your point about strippers better now. You mean when they work the create a fantasy not that people who strip are more prone to lying.

If Kamala is actually part of species that only exists to satisfy the wishes of other... well I find this troubling but on another level.

I rewatched it.
So, it is all a little creepy and I guess I'm with Beverly on this.
The whole idea from a writing standpoint is kind of creepy. They mention that most of the metamorphs are male which is very convenient because without that one sentence it would be very creepy, not just kind of creepy. I bunch of male writers creating a female character that only desires to fulfill the wishes of men without any consideration for her own feelings. She doesn't have independent desires.
And not only that. She produces pheromones that make men want her.
Any would want her.
Sound s almost like some kinky nerd fantasy.

Lets look at the information given. Kamala was taken from her mother at the age of four. This is already problematic. From that age she was trained to marry a man she never met before. She was never encouraged to think for herself. All the information we get about metamorphs and what they desire is given to us by unreliable people: the ambassador who obviously would sacrifice more than one life to preserve peace and Kamala who was told from early childhood that her only purpose is to be a peace offering, a gift. Without society telling her that she has to marry Alrik who would she have chosen? The first man she meets? Or does she have desires but was told that they didn't matter because all that mattered was that she brings peace by marrying Alrik.

You see her like one would see a crazy person. In other words, you can never trust a crazy persons word because they are crazy even if they tell the truth.
It doesn't matter what Kamala says because she is a metamorph. You say that we can never believe her. The problem of the episode and kind of a plothole is that they could have just sent Beverly in to ask her what she wants or just have a chat about what a metamorph is but that never happens.

In the end we only know that Kamala was taken from her home as a small child and trained for every waking hour to be a gift by people who even decided who to live with Alrik until he dies. Beyond that we don't know anything.
Maybe she has desires of her own, maybe not.
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Tue, Aug 6, 2019, 1:55am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

In this day and age of growing madness I never get to being upset. I barely reach annoyed.
I think that your comments are either misogynistic or ignorant.
Now that I have severely insulted please you give me a minute to explain :)

What is Kamala?
She is a product (underline this word) of a society that turned her basically into a sophisticated sex slave. She was trained to be that slave her entire life and the few parts that aren't twisted want to escape by falling for Picard.
So your stripper analogy is quite fitting but in a different way than you intended. Why do we have strippers? Let me rephrase that. Why do we almost exclusively have female strippers? Because men like to objectify women. (Let us ignore male objectification for this debate)
Who is responsible for female strippers being what they are?
You seem to think that strippers or Kamala are to blame for being objects (underline this word, too) of male affection while the episode pretty clearly conveys that it is society that made her a commodity (underline :) to be traded away.

"Remember Kamala's job is to be the perfect mate."
This is a sentence I find pretty troubling. In my opinion Kamala is the opposite of a perfect mate. She is only a perfect mate for a man who wants the most risk free relationsship ever. She is not the perfect mate, she is the perfect slave. If you want a willing slave as a mate then yes she is perfect.

In my opinion you took exactly the wrong lesson from that episode (society turns women into objects for male affection= society shouldn't do that) because you don't blame society, you blame women and specifically Kamala.

Did I misunderstand you?
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Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 7:09am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Oh man, when you find out that there is an entire industry called advertisement that makes trillions by spinning stories for personal benefit it will blow your mind. And here is the kicker. They do it all while not undressing for assholes.
Have a nice one, pal.
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Sun, Aug 4, 2019, 3:36pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

yeah Ezri never really grew on me either.
Most of the other leads had several seasons for backstory episodes but with her they had to force it all in the first part of season 7.
She is better than Tilly though.
No: "Thats the power of math,people." I still cringe because of these scenes.
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Sun, Aug 4, 2019, 3:31pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

" She's a stripper, and strippers spin stories."
You know who also spins stories for their personal benefit?!

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Thu, Aug 1, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

@Peter G.
7 of 9 was also in a way childlike and far more sexualized but she could also kill you in a heartbeat. Is this more or less f***ed up than Kes? I'm not sure.
She also hooked up with Cmdr Hunk.
That leaves so many questions...
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Thu, Aug 1, 2019, 7:47am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

@Lew Stone
Could you please follow the Jammerian peace accords.
§1 Do not attack Jammer
§2 Follow §1
§3 Don't be a dick
a) If you have to be a dick be like Booming
a1) it is impossible to be like Booming!!!
§4 secret
§5 Follow the great leader Booming
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Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 4:00pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

@ Yanks
You are right. All the other founders appear to be male
And the one female founder is leading a cruel war against the Federation and in the end starts to commit genocide. (Oh spoiler for anybody who hasn't seen this show that aired almost 30 years ago.)
The plot thickens :D

@ Peter G.
Laas didn't just "try" he stayed with her until she broke up with him because they couldn't have children and that experience made him bitter.
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Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

@ Peter G.
Fair enough but the two male coded founders we meet: Odo and Laas. Both are male coded (look male, tall, walk in a certain way and so on) both only date women. It seems that heteronomativity guided that approach or the suspected intolerance of the audience. I heard a few weeks ago that 20 years ago a majority of Americans wasn't comfortable with mixed race marriages. I guess simliar numbers or even higher numbers weren't comfortable with bisexuality and probably less with homosexuality. Even when the act is done by a genderless alien.

But reading through memory alpha it seems that the founders were ... wait for it... a mystery box. They had no idea what they were until the beginning of season 3. I guess mystery boxes can work when you have a good writing team. hmmmm

"notwithstanding the fact that casting obviously required gendered humans to play the roles."
They could have worked around that. Get people of the same height and flat breasts and so on. Seems a bit lazy.
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Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 10:16am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I always thought that the Jem Hadar get their nutrients through ketracel white and whatever is in these little vials.

And the founders are just beyond us filthy animals when it comes to food. Considering that Odo cannot think of anything else but the Great link it must be super awesome because he (I guess) doesn't seem like a guy who is easily tempted.

To me it was always more confusing that the founders actually had genders. For what?? They don't procreate. They also don't need it to link.
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Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 2:27am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Humans are just an emotional and fairly selfish species. Sure we have altruistic sides but most need a very strong push for the better angels to take over. It is normally very late then, often too late.
I just saw a nice example:
Two newspaper articles.
1. The populist brazilian government is destroying the Amazonian rain forest at an extreme pace which will become unsustainable soon.
2. A black skinned guy pushed a lady in front of a train and her kid died

One had three times more comments. Can you guess which one?
What do you think? Knowing that after the Amazonian rainforest is gone this will probably finally push the climate over the edge or the fear to be pushed in front of a train by somebody who looks different. Yeah pretty easy, I know. As an aside most people complained that the second article didn't mention the skin color/ origin.
I guess people who watch Star Trek are aware of the selfish and self destructive tendencies of the human species and therefore like to imagine a world were we are not but kinder and wiser beings.
I think that is Kira's reason to despise her mother because deep down she knows that the majority is like her mother and a minority are like Kira. If I remember correctly she says something like: They (collaborators) were the bad ones and we were the good ones. now what?"
Now what, indeed.
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Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 7:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

@ Jason R,
Yeah so would I!

"We know Kira couldn't be Cardassia."
I wholeheartedly agree.
What else can I say... maybe that ,apart from reading your answers and writing mine, this has been fun. :)
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Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 2:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

@still Ildaf
""The point is the show do nothing trying to convince us Kira is really a Cardassian"
They never wanted to really convince her. They just wanted to mess her up enough to make Ghemor act."
I misread that.
What are you talking about??? We know that she isn't Cardassian because if she were she would be out of the show. Or would we watch the tales of Iliana, ruthless Obsidian spy, hero of Cardassia.
It is like when Sisko is in danger. We know that he is not going to die.
The question is how he gets out of that tough situation.
Same with this episode but here it is more sophisticated. We have two main questions: How will she get out and why are they doing this?
And the second one has long term consequences for the show (Cardassian liberation movement and Ghemor).
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