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Brian Smth
Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 11:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

2021...and i've seen this episode for the first time. It is VERY good. Full stop.

Oh, and those who for some reason think 'Enterprise killed the franchise'....probably just hated the opening theme music. It some ways, it is the best and best written.

The new CBS production...only seen 3 episodes thus far. It is promissing.

1. Star Trek (perhaps it's the sentimentalist in me...)
2. The Next Generation
3. Enterprise
4. Deep Space Nine
5. Voyager
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Brian S.
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 3:31am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

In January 2019, commenter Ashley wrote:

++"I was enjoying the show, then I realised:

Where are the masks to prevent people breathing in the virus?

Do they know nothing about disease prevention ? They must be wanting to get Sick! Even in this “barbaric “ century we know that masks stop air- born viruses.

This blunder destroyed the whole episode for me. It is silly “, silly, silly!"++

I'm just going to be over here in this corner......drinking and sobbing, in no particular order.
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Brian S.
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 3:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S1: Babel

While whistling past a graveyard, Jammer to wrote:

++"The "race against the clock" is not a particularly effective part of this story, because we all know DS9 is not about to become a floating morgue." ++

Haha, yeah, I mean, the race to get a vaccine out before the virus becomes deadly is just......well, I mean, it's just--okay, sure, they had to convert additional quarters into an overflow hospital ward as the entire medical staff is overrun......but it's pretty obvious the station won't just become one giant morgue, to the point where they have to start digging mass graves just to keep up with the death and destruction, because, well......what kind of horrendously bleak future would look like that, huh?!

Additional negative stars to this episode for some of the other outlandish parts of the the bar owner who pompously declares himself to be an "essential service" in the middle of a quarantine, how the one open business in the economy makes a huge profit while everything else is shut down by delivering goods to people that they cannot otherwise access while the station is shut down, the people who ignore the quarantine restrictions and go out to the bars and clubs anyway because they felt fine thereby inadvertently spreading the virus to everyone else far more rapidly and causing it to mutate, the small business owner so single-mindedly desperate to complete his shipment that he fights against the quarantine orders thereby things worse and ends up blowing up his own ship while taking nearly half the station with it.

DAMN, DS9! How is it a quarter-century later, and your episodes are somehow getting even MORE relevant than ever?!
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Brian S.
Tue, Feb 25, 2020, 8:49pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

@Iceman: "Contrary to what Sisko protests, he is shown to be a bit prejudiced against Ferengi."

To whatever extent Sisko may have (or had) some prejudices against Ferengi at large, I don't think that prejudice is at play in that specific scene.

Prejudicial treatment is where you treat an individual a certain way because of your opinions about their race at large.

Insofar as this scene goes, Sisko knows Nog. And Rom and Quark. He's known them for years. He has seen their behaviors, listened to their motivations, and is aware of the cultural influences that they espouse.

Sisko, in this cas, isn't suspicious of Nog being up to something because of something other members of his race did. Sisko is suspicious of Nog because of Nog's own personal individual history which includes several petty crimes, a rejection of many human/Starfleet egalitarian values, and numerous lies and dishonest schemes either for his own benefit or in service of his uncle.

The reveal of Nog's genuine interest in joining Starfleet is as much a confusion and surprise to us (the viewer) as it is to Sisko. Because it is a bit out of character, from what we know of Nog to this point in the series. Even within his episode, the viewer suspects there's something hidden behind Nog's efforts. It's not specifically about himself being a Ferengi….it's about Nog himself having a reputation for being not completely trustworthy and not showing much interest or value in anything Starfleet has to offer. A reputation he had more or less earned through the first 2+ seasons.

But when he lets Sisko and us in on the real reason, when the façade is dropped and Nog shows his sincerity and vulnerability, a new reputation is earned for the individual.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 3:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: Prey

I have read a lot of the comments in this thread, on both sides of the Janeway/Seven moral divide

I liked how RenC pointed out that Picard faces a similar moral dilemma when he grants Q asylum and puts the entire ship and crew at risk to protect crew from aliens that want to kill him and who are threatening to destroy the Enterprise.

Yanks later brilliantly noted how Sisko once took Worf to task saying: "We don't put civilians at risk or even potentially at risk to save ourselves. Sometimes that means we lose the battle and sometimes our lives. But if you can't make that choice, then you can't wear that uniform."

Janeway's decision has plenty of precedent in Starfleet/Star Trek lore....that you don't just turn wounded aliens over to murderous thugs, just because they are threatening to kill you, too, if you don't comply.

And there are several other episodes, even in Voyager, where this moral dilemma plays out.....where an innocent being, or even a being who has attacked the ship, is afforded protection by Janeway and Voyager, even at great risk to the ship.

The entire reason Voyager is in the Delta Quadrant is because Janeway placed the protection of the Ocampa over the welfare of the crew.....even though it was not their responsibility to do so, and it was the Caretaker who violated their rights and dragged them to the DQ, killing dozens of Voyager's crew in the process. The Caretaker kidnapped Voyager, killed its crew, and Janeway still granted the Caretaker's requests to protect the array from the Kazon, even at mortal risk to Voyager. That was still the moral thing to do. It was the Starfleet thing to do.

Now while there are plenty of fine arguments to be made for either choice in "Prey," and whether one agrees with Janeway's moral choice or not.....on a Starfleet vessel, ultimately it is the Captain's choice to make. Whether the Captain decides to give in to a bully's demands and sacrifice an innocent being to save their own ship, or whether they should sacrifices themselves for the moral principle.....that is the sole decision of the Captain. You cannot have random officers and crew, much less non-Starfleet personnel, substituting their own personal judgments for that of the Captain's.

So I agree with Janeway here.....both in her decisions to protect the 8472, and her discipline of Seven for insubordination.

But I think Joey Lock also made a very interesting point with his comment....."Janeway's logic in this episode is the very reason the Federation almost lost the Dominion War back home, it's the Federations peace loving "Do not harm anyone" attitude that allows species like the Borg, Hirogen, Jem'Hadar, Species 8472 etc to walk all over them, because they portray weakness and a vunerability, their morality."

I don't personally agree with the sentiment behind that, but I understand it and I know a lot of people would feel that way. And I think that mindset is precisely what is at the heart of what Starfleet has become in the new Star Trek: Picard series......that kind of morality of openness and welcoming inclusiveness can leave you exposed to those who do not share your morals or value your inclusivity.

The understanding of Starfleet and the Federation through 50 years of Trek is that, yes, there may be short term or individual consequences, but long term we are better off opening our arms to other, welcoming the alien seeking refuge, and protecting them from harm. But after the Borg, the Dominion War, and a series of other attacks and calamities, it is understandable that frightened scarred people have become weary of Starfleet's open arms policy and no longer want to be the sort of people who welcome the injured 8472 at all costs. The people who would now rather turn an alien over to hunters rather than stick their neck out for someone who isn't exactly an ally. Seven's mindset in "Prey" is exactly at the heart of the Federation's behaviors in ST:Picard......though I say this having not watched any of the new episodes with Seven's character yet.
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Brian S.
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 5:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

A few responses to Asher's comments:

1) "Religion in general and Christianity in particular has been a driving force for good in our society."

-This site isn't big enough to detail all the atrocities great and small perpetuted by religious zealots, or those done supposedly in service of a religious doctrine or in the name of some deity.

A lot of the historical people you cited for the positive reforms and scientific advancements they promoted became facmous because they themselves were suppressed, denigrated by, or driven to overcome the prevailing harsher/ignorant societal beliefs of the era which were often heavily rooted in religious dogma, and Christianity in particular.

Your inclusion of William Wilberforce in your list is an interesting double-edged sword for this discussion. A man whose Christian faith inspired his drive to abolish slavery (and also eliminate the printing of newspapers on Sundays), a peculiar institution for which its proponents cited the same scriptures to justify (often declaring the non-Christian indigenous peoples they encoutered to be heathens). Wilberforce himself supported Church missionary activities in foreign lands and specifically worked for the religious "improvement" of the barbaric Hindus in India, exhibiting the same evangelical religious motivations in support of colonialism that those before him used in support of slavery.

2) "I also note that while there have been plenty noble atheists, there also have been more than enough mass murdering atheistic despots around. Therefore, it would be a stretch to say that the world will be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists."

-If you're referring to the mass-murdering despots I think you are referring to, I would argue they were actually quite religious, they merely sought to replace the worship of some other deity and adherence to a text with worship of themselves and their own teachings. North Korea, for example, isn't an atheistic culture....they have worked very hard to turn the Kim family into divine Gods (and demanded that they and their teachings be followed, religiously) so that the people will accept whatever their leader tells them without challenge (aka "blasphemy").

Rather than go deeper into a "both sides" argument, or get into a pissing match over which one is worse, I will simply offer my agreement that the world will not just be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists. Humans are flawed beings with great potential for destruction and misery. We can certainly use religion and claims of God's support to further destructive ends; but greed, selfishness, and a desire to harm/conquer/control others are not the sole province of religion (nor does religious faith act as the sole barrier to such behaviors).

3) "So, how would an atheistic world improve itself if there are no religious influences to drive progress?"

-On a scientific level....either simple curiosity or necessity are fairly strong motivators to drive progress. Human scientific advancement predates any known organized religion, and there are plenty of discoveries or inventions where religion had little to no role.

"What is the air made of?" "How can I get harvest cotton more efficiently?" "Are there any Earth-like planets around other stars?" "I want to record sounds for future use, but how?" The people who tried to answer these questions and/or invent new tools may have held varying beliefs in a deity, but I see little evidence that faith in an unseeable unknowable deity is a necessary requirement for a person in a rainstorm to be motivated to invent a functional umbrella.

Every single one of my children noticed at an early age that objects fall to the floor when dropped. They all seemed extremely curious as to why that is, and on their omnipotent deities need apply. If anything, belief in a god and/or adherence to a religious belief which claims to alreday have the answer ("God did it!") can stunt progress (and many times has).

As for societal progress.....the fact there are so many different societies with differing religious views should make it clear that faith in a god is not required.
How does a religious world influence progress? Obviously, through the stories it tells through its books, myths, legends...stories with a compelling series of fictional characters whose parables are retold in ways befitting our current lives. Given that peoples from ALL socities and religious bents have found their own paths forward, it is clear that there is no one specific set of stories or faith in specific mythological characters to which one must adhere for progress to be inspired.

Stories of spacemen traveling the stars and talking to aliens or jumping through time can be no less influential than stories of men defeating great giants or living in the belly of a whale or talking to a magical bush. Humans grow and build societies and personal values around the stories we hear as children and share and retell as adults. There are many great legends and works of literature that inspire progress, they there is no prescription for what those stories must be, nor a requirement that such inspirational stories MUST contain a deity that every reader puts blind trust in and must actively continue to worship after they close the book.
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Brian S.
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 2:04pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

@William B: "I agree with what everyone says about Leah Brahms. This should have been a sign to Picard that the future can't be the way things *actually* end up. "


PICARD: So, you've heard?
LAFORGE: Leah's got a few friends at Starfleet Medical. Word gets around.'
PICARD: (frowns).....Leah?
PICARD: Computer, Halt Program! Computer, End Program!
LAFORGE: Captain, you remember Leah, my wife. She's just been made director of the Daystrom Institute.
PICARD: And people say I'M the one losing touch with reality.
LAFORGE: No, sir, it's not like that. We're really married, we have several children together.
PICARD: (considers Geordi's words carefully, then turns angry).....Q! This has gone on long enough! Dammit, Q, show yourself!
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Brian S
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 4:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

This episode makes me cringe so hard. From the hammed up awful acting of actors playing Watters, Shepard and especially Peldon, to the directorial choices of Vejar such as showing the console screens PROJECTING on to the cadet's faces (wtf) - I felt bad for all involved.
Every once in a while when I do a series rewatch, I approach this one thinking "ok it can't be THAT bad". Mistake.
Then I promise myself I'll never watch it again.
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Brian S.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 2:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

>"Unfortunately, the allegory is too preachy and pretentious and fails to say anything except in the very broadest of terms."<

Sometimes, messages need to be preached, and sometimes the broadest of terms are required for it to be heard.


>"Prejudice has many troubling shades of grey that this story fails to acknowledge."<

True point. But this was broadcast in an era where MLK had recently been assassinated and where only six weeks earlier Star Trek had aired the first interracial kiss on US television, to the dismay of some regional censors.

This episode was written for an audience that was still struggling with (and often against) the concept that "Segregation = Bad"

There are absolutely shades of gray to be explored....1969 was not the time or place for those. Hard to dive too deeply into nuance with an audience that barely understands or accepts the basics.
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Brian S.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 1:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

Watching these episodes through streaming services in rapid succession is jarring....

KIRK: "Hey Bones, this indigenous woman and I just had some stones thrown at us. I'm a little banged up, but apparently none too worse for the wear. Stay with her. Do what you can."

*McCoy scans Miramanee, discovers she's carrying Kirk's child*

(30 Minutes later)

MCCOY: "She had bad internal injuries, Jim. "
KIRK: "Will she live? "
MCCOY: "No."
KIRK: "No? No?!? Wasn't it just 2 episodes ago where you successfully surgically reattached Spock's brain after it had been stolen from his skull?! And now you're telling me you can't heal a woman with a few internal injuries sustained from some rocks."
MCCOY: "Do you want to explain to Starfleet Command how a woman on an alien pre-warp pre-industrial civilization ended up birthing your child?"
KIRK: "I'll love you, Miramanee. Always."

MCCOY: I swear that's honeysuckle I smell.
KIRK: I swear that's a little orange blossom thrown in. It's unbelievable. Growth exactly like that of Earth on a planet half a galaxy away. What are the odds on such duplication?
SPOCK: Astronomical, Captain.
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Brian S
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

@Richard: "I find it hard to believe that people would voluntary walk into a disintegration chamber.... I would imagine that self-preservation is a pretty strong instinct throughout the galaxy."


The episode addresses this point.

Mea--the hostess--says she has no greater wish to die than Kirk or anybody else, but that to her it's preferable to the alternative.

In war, there isn't just death.....there is pain, and suffering, and mutilation, and torture.

Take, for example, the conflict in Syria. It isn't just the deaths from the bombs being dropped on people. Thousands more beyond just the dead are injured, crippled, left bleeding in the streets. Their wounds can become infected, limbs lost. Among the survivors, homes and schools are destroyed. Basic services disrupted, water systems damaged and non-functional. Supply lines are cut, there are food shortages and hunger. Disease runs rampant with no functional medical facilities to treat it. Soldiers/Rebels tend to be fairly barbaric in personal combat, often taking prisoners, torturing enemies, raping civilians.

War is not sanitary. War creates secondary and exponential unintended suffering far beyond deaths from the primary attack.

And even in killing, not all deaths are brought about the same. Most combat deaths are not instantaneous and painless like a disintegration chamber. People spend minutes or hours bleeding out from bullet wounds or shrapnel. Choking to death on nerve agents. Drowning in the ocean after a sub or battleship is sunk. Having their flesh burned off their bones by bombs. Spending several days agonizingly bleeding to death in your home next to your family under 500 pounds of rubble.

As Spock says, there is a certain logic to a war ravaged civilization wanting to do away with all of those secondary harms. None of the Eminians *want* to die, but given the choice between a horrifically painful death where your face and limbs are blown off and you bleed out in some muddy ditch or a clean instant painless death where you merely step into a "disintegration chamber" can see the appeal.
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Brian S.
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: The Galileo Seven

The most logical, robotic, non-human of them all....Scotty.

The other officers are bickering about emotions and command and humanity......Mr. Scott just quietly tells them, "We need to lose X amount of weight." No whining about how it needs to be done, or what that might entail as far as leaving personnel behind, just cold logical facts.

All the others are crying for a "decent burial," even though it would take time, and resources, and put people in jeopardy......Mr. Scott has no time for your emotional death rituals. He sees no logic in leaving his floorboard for even an instant, just get the job done, burial or no.

And it is his cool under pressure professional logical approach that even gives them a chance. Bravo, Mr. Scott, you'd make an excellent Vulcan.
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Brian S.
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

"Captain Tony Almeida"

C'est magnifique!
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Brian S.
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"I was turned off in the beginning of the movie when a they showed a Star Fleet officer destroy a multi-million dollar building and kill countless lives just to save the life of his daughter."

Not to give any undue benefit of the doubt to this movie......but in the original TOS episode "Space Seed" which introduced Khan, the Enterprise and its entire crew were put into dire peril because a Starfleet officer under Kirk's own command, Lt. Marla McGivers, provides critical aid to Khan and his soldiers in taking over the ship and nearly allows Khan to execute Kirk and the entire bridge crew and almost the destruction of the ship itself simply because she had become extremely attracted to him in the several days he was on board the ship.

23rd century humanity is better, but they're not all flawless.
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Brian S.
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 4:17am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Game

I always enjoyed this episode. It's fun, well acted, and I enjoyed how Wesley was able to evade security.

To me, that last segment always the best "Game" in the episode.....Wesley having to think quickly on his feet, to outwit and elude a vastly superior opponent for as long as he could. His escape required athleticism, intelligence, strategy, read & react situations. Moves and countermoves.

There are some gaping plot holes in this episode (what exactly was the purpose of Elana's efforts?), and I understand the critiques of Wesley in general, but I always liked Wil Wheaton, and this was one of my favorite Wesley episodes.


That said.....there is arguably no greater Wesley Crusher move than to go back to work on the Enterprise during your vacation from Starfleet Academy, somehow manage to hook up with a young smoking hot Ashley Judd, and on basically your one and only date with Ashley freaking Judd, you.....take her to your mom's medical lab to conduct experiments on the potentially harmful side effects of a portable gaming device.

+++++ @ Luke's Scooby Doo parody. That was perfect!
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Brian S
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 6:21pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: Redemption, Part I

>Jammer: "I for one would like to know what it is about the Klingon High Council that continues to see a point in following a family name when it obviously can do nothing but lead the Empire to ruin."


The trappings of individual wealth and power are galactic constants.

Duras' supporters wouldn't see it as ruin. They would see a Duras chancellorship (whether by Council vote or by violent coup) as the best means for increasing their own wealth and power enhanced. Like many aristocrats, those aligned with Duras would view their own gains of power as being "for the good of the Empire."

If Duras wins the Civil War, his supporters will enjoy even greater influence and control over those who were defeated. And the more battles Duras wins, the more other houses will see the futility of standing against Duras and will be tempted to switch sides and join the "winning" faction in order to survive and avoid their own ruin.

I don't think the forces that lead to Duras' power within the Empire is a difficult concept to understand. To the contrary, it is something of a natural byproduct of aristocratic rule. Wealth and power and influence are all intertwined. Power inevitably consolidates among a few individuals or groups who place their own wealth/power ahead of the good of the rest of society, and the whole body becomes a corrupt organization that pays just enough lip service to "the good of the Empire" to cover their own larger aims of consolidating wealth and power.

Klingon culture is a blatantly aristocratic caste-based society. Some earlier ancestor of the Duras family likely managed to acquire control over a critical planet, or set of resources, then used that power to obtain additional power. Passed down through the generations, that control led to more power. Duras' family power earned them the loyalty of subjects and legions of warriors, which beget access to superior battleships and weapons technology, which beget exclusive access and control over additional resources, which attracted partnerships with several other Houses who saw that their own wealth and prestige could be enhanced by allying with the House of Duras, which beget more of all of the above.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

@Paul: "One of the biggest inconsistencies from TNG to DS9 is the size of Starfleet. In BOBW and Redemption, 40 starships appears to represent a good portion of the fleet. "


40 ships was probably all of the larger high-powered ships of any firepower had within the multi-day vicinity of Earth

I'm sure they didn't bother ordering minimally armed science vessels, cargo transports, long range shuttlecraft to join the fight against the Borg, and any ships on patrol near Klingon territory, or the Romulan Neutral Zone, or anywhere else in the Federation or beyond that were damaged/under repair or simply couldn't make it back to Earth/Wolf 359 within a day or two at high warp.

I think it's plausible that Starfleet could have had maybe, let's say, 4,000 active duty capital ships spread across the entire Federation at the time of BOBW. So a loss of 40 ships means a loss of 1% of the entire fleet--in just one battle, to just one enemy ship. That would be a pretty viscerally devastating blow, particularly in an otherwise peaceful era of exploration and discovery, even if that percentage is technically low.

Imagine if an enemy attacked the US and killed 1% of our population of 320 million people. To lose 3.2 million people in one attack would be mind-bogglingly devastating.....but whether you consider only 1% to represent a "good portion" depends on your frame.

And then the war with the Dominion facilitated the need for building more ships, including entirely new classes of ships, and enlisting more personnel.
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Brian S.
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Episode contains not just one of my favorite Star Trek quotes, but one of my favorite quotes in all of TV/film/literature:

Q: "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross, but it's not for the timid."

I've used this line or variations of it in a number of instances. Often as self-motivation.

Whenever I get into a rut where things seem harder than usual, or life feels particularly unfair, I like to use this quote as a reminder that life as an adult isn't always fair. It's not easy. It's not safe. And it's not supposed to be.

Q is being brash in his normally abrasive way, but he isn't just being a jerk. He poetically acknowledges the

Life IS, as Q says, "Wondrous!" And there are many great treasures out there in the world to be found and explored and enjoyed in life. But it is not for the timid. There will be setbacks in life. There will be pitfalls. There will be completely unfair times where you are going along happily minding your own business--and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Q/Life will just throw you into a dangerous encounter you weren't ready for, for absolutely no reason. But that is how the world goes sometimes. And if you can't handle a little bloody nose from time to time and you only want to stay where it's safe, you will never be able to experience or enjoy all the great treasures that can only be experienced if you come out from underneath the covers and expose yourself to the potential for being hurt.

This is peak Trek for me....a great episode with a fun and engaging story, thought-provoking characters, and it culminates with a line that provides an immutable rule of thumb for life itself--struggle and sacrifice are necessary parts of the journey of existence, but the rewards are worth it.
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Brian S>
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

So let me see if I have this right...

1) Union policy for First Contact is to respond and reveal themselves to any culture with the mere capacity to send radio transmissions into outer space seeking other life....even if those civilizations lack the ability to travel faster than the speed of light....even if those civilizations lack the ability to even break their own orbit?

Our first radio transmissions were right around the turn of the 20th century. We sent out the first message specifically intended for aliens in 1974, but theoretically, we had the capacity to focus and amplify a signal for such a message decades earlier.

So Union policy is to reach out to Earth c. mid-20th century civilizations? With absolutely no research on their culture, or anything about them, or what impacts the discovery of alien life might have on such a comparatively rudimentary society that possesses little more technological aptitude than mere radio waves?

I'd be shocked if the Union had ANY positive First Contacts with that policy.


2) Orville can't retrieve their kidnapped officers because the Union wants only a diplomatic approach that doesn't involve force because.....something.

If I had to guess--and I have to guess because no explanation is given for why it's okay to send a diplomatic envoy to an extremely primitive society for a First Contact, but its not okay to defend oneself during said diplomatic mission, nor to justifiably retrieve one's diplomats who have been forcibly kidnapped--I would guess that the Union doesn't want to leave a world's first impressions of the Union being a gang of murderous thugs...not even if the new world is one of murderous thugs that acts first.

So it seems the Union has a potentially noble-ish fundamental policy that the Union values a positive first impression with new worlds above even the lives of its own officers--no matter how bad or violent the new society proves to be--except apparently neither Commanders Grayson or Bortus got that crucial memo, as they are willing to violate this non-aggression policy and kill dozens of Regorians, even though their lives are not in imminent danger (they are jailed, but being treated relatively the same as every other inmate).

And so Capt. Mercer, to avoid violating this unexplained policy of not using justified force to retrieve several kidnapped officers because such a display presumably might harm future relations with the Regorians, opts instead to screw with their entire 3,000-year-old religion--a ruse that will inevitably fall apart the moment that this civilization with radio technology and newly discovered knowledge of interstellar alien species learns how to build sub-light interplanetary satellites and/or spaceships--in the hopes that this betrayal and tinkering with a critical fundamental element of their entire society will be met with a more favorable understanding in the future than a simple military extraction involving stunning a few dozen guards with non-lethal force would have (and, oh btw, Grayson and Bortus killed more guards in their failed escape attempt than a trained Orville security force armed with stun phasers would have).


3) And so Mercer and the Orville crew went to all that trouble to plan to deceive the Regorians by creating a star that they, ummm.....they HOPED someone *might* notice?!

I can buy the premise of an astrological-adherent civilization. I can buy the premise that the disappearance of a star led to some crazy astrological religious beliefs.

But the Orville crew spent hours pouring over historical data from the planet, and they had to indirectly deduce that the disappearance of a star from that constellation *might* have been the impetus for that religious belief, but it sure didn't seem like that specific astronomic event thousands of years earlier was something any of the current Regorians were aware of (otherwise, there would have been a lot more data confirming that in the Orville's research).

So the Orville makes one small point of light appear in the night sky--one that should be relatively indistinguishable from the thousands of other points of light in the night sky--and with the naked eye a bunch of people instantly see it (thankfully the internment camp was subjected to neither light pollution nor clouds) and they all have such a detailed memory of the night sky that they instantly know that this one out of thousands of point of light wasn't there before....and that this one isn't simply a meteorite, or a comet, or an aircraft.....and all this so that the Regorians see it AND believe it means something AND then it's a 50/50 shot that the Regorians decide that it's a GOOD thing (instead of an even more bad thing for which the Jelliacs should be completely exterminated)

.....and then, that the Regorians believe it to be such a good sign that they simply decide on an instantaneous whim to reconsider their millennia-old beliefs that people born under the Jelliac sign are maybe not violent beings and that Grayson and Bortus should be released......even after Grayson and Bortus just straight violently massacred over a dozen prison guards

......and then, after all that, hope that the head prison guard who just saw dozens of his friends and co-workers murdered by a pair of violent aliens wouldn't have just completed the execution anyway, good omens from a strange new light in the sky, be damned.

This episode required my logic and disbelief to be suspended so much, they were pronounced clinically dead on sight.
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Brian S.
Mon, Jan 21, 2019, 3:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

So the entire 4th season of Enterprise series was just a fever dream by Victoria Principal.
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Brian S.
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 5:06am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

> If only Captain had said "I love it when a plan comes together" it would have been a near perfect homage. <

I was a little disappointed that they weren't able to spring Lt. Barclay from the mental hospital, but the shuttlepod did an awful lot like a GMC van, and I could've sworn I heard Ms. T'Pol said, "I pity the fool who tries to attack this mining colony."

Also thought it was a nice touch when they replaced the usual opening credit song with, "Today, still on their mission from Starfleet, these Terrans survive as explorers of space. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire.....the Enterprise."
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Brian S.
Fri, Aug 24, 2018, 6:21pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

"More generally speaking, how the Dominion endured for two thousand years is difficult to believe based on their Alpha Quadrant behavior. They make some very dumb decisions...For example, had they really had the power to hold on to a large Gamma Quadrant empire for so long, they would have known they had to keep their base happy - i.e. the Cardassians. A real-world Dominion, with so much experience, would have kept the Cardassians on their side emotionally and politically - especially the leadership. "


In the Gamma Quadrant, it seems most of the planets they rule simply through fear and might.

Most of the GQ worlds have either an isolated population, or a small federation of systems. The Cardassian Empire seems like the the largest and most powerful independent group they've "conquered" in some time.

Out in the Gamma Quadrant, they don't need to keep anybody happy. If a conquered world tries to rebel, the Founders simply obliterate that world as a lesson to all the others to stay in line.

I suspect none of the other GQ worlds would still have even the military resources the Cardassians have. The Founders would have disarmed their conquered worlds of most of their military weaponry long ago. Any singular world or small alliance that even drummed up enough resources to fight would have been instantly wiped out.

The Founders don't care about keeping the masses happy because they don't have to care. They live far away on an isolated world. The enforcers of their regime are disposable clones they care nothing for. There's no need to play nice with the subjects because they pose no threat. Anybody rises up, smack them back down with vengeance. That was their game plan and it worked well for centuries.

It was less effective on the Cardassians for two reasons:

1) The Cardassians were very still heavily armed and had nearly the entire Alpha Quadrant working against the Dominion at the same time. When Cardassia finally rebelled, all the AQ superpowers were right on the doorstep. If any other GQ world rebelled, with no other outside support--like the combined might of the Federation-Klingons-Romulans AND the wormhole access cut off--they would've just been easily overwhelmed and dispatched without a second thought. There's no reason to keep any other GQ world populace happy.

2) The Cardassians hadn't been subjected to Dominion rule for more than a few years. The only way the Founders could gain their initial foothold in the Alpha Quadrant was to at least pretend it was more of a military alliance than a pure subjugation. In the GQ, there's no need for alliances or agreements, the Dominion just conquers. Once a generation or two of isolated subjugation passes with no hope in sight, the will to fight back wanes.
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Brian S.
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


"I took Snoke's word for it that he knew Kylo's every thought...the idea that Snoke would gather only some generality like "Kylo will kill his enemy" and not actually see his *every thought* would mean that Snoke is just an idiot. I automatically negated that as a possibility while watching it but upon reflection..."


A lot of the Sith masters we know about are killed by their apprentices.

Sidius kills Plageuis
Vader kills Sidius
Ren kills Snoke

Sith masters aren't idiots.....and yet, none of them foresee the moment of their own betrayal.....even though almost all other past Sith masters are, inevitably, betrayed by their apprentices at some point.

It's not idiocy. Arrogance, overconfidence, willful blindness, perhaps, but not idiocy.

In a way, a Sith apprentice's "true enemy" is always his master. The master is the person holding back the apprentice from his true potential. The master is the person exploiting the apprentice. The apprentice doesn't become the master until he kills his master. And the Sith apprentice doesn't become the Sith master just by letting some neophyte Jedi scout do that work for him in her own flailing self-defense

Personally, I thought it was pretty obvious that Kylo Ren killed him. Snoke set that confrontation up to be Kylo's initiation. A test on Kylo's Dark Side journey. That's why Snoke wanted Kylo to strike Rey down. What Kylo did--in proper Sith fashion--was to take advantage of a rare opportunity when his master's guard was down and strike. In this universe, it's the only explanation that really makes sense.

Though I also agree that the writing and direction were poor if this many people genuinely thought that Rey killed Snoke.
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Brian S
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 5:20pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

Possible explanation for the cloaking cloaks the ship visually, but not to any sensors.

So maybe you can use a cloaking device to project visible light from behind the ship to the front, thus making it appear invisible to the naked eye.....but any of the other countless devices that can make device that can scan for metal, or scan for life signs, or whatever a warp core is made of would still be easily spotted by any advanced civilization.

Which is also in keeping with some of the Star Trek stories over the years. Cloaked ships tended to have very high energy signatures. Those who knew what they were looking for and how to find it (radiation surge, plasma leak, a tachyon detection grid) could spot a cloaked ship.

In this universe--unlike the superpower that the ST Federation is portrayed as--the human-centric Union is considered to be a technologically pedestrian species in comparison to the Krill and several others. So their cloaking technology might be good enough to fool the cameras and radar of a primitive, barely space-faring world, but it makes sense it would be useless against the scanners of the other adversaries who can easily detect the signature radiation from a warp core regardless of whether or not someone see it just by looking out their window.
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Brian S.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

@Omicron: "I think the moral here is that when you have a mob who judges people based on the shallowest of criteria, that's a huge problem
regardless of whether the rumours they spread are true or not.

And the actual "fake news" that the Orville crew planeted in the feed just demonstrate how silly the whole thing is. Should the life of a person depend on whether he has a dog named Chuckles? Now that's one seriously fucked-up society.

(and I'm not saying that we are that much better. That's precisely why the message of this episode is so powerful)"


I like this comment of yours very much. Just for that, YOU get an Upvote!

However, I also read a rumor on Twitter that you run a human trafficking ring through your pizza parlor.

I suppose I COULD fact-check that rumor, but it's easier for me to just give you a Downvote and wait for you're apology tour.

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