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Bryan
Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 1:11pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Booming

I'm not sure if that's meant as a dig or if you think Kurtzman has finally become that adversarial towards the fanbase or if you were just being facetious... But to take that thought at face value, I don't detect any symbolic ill-intent on the part of the showrunners when it comes to Su'Kal. This is mainly because of the way the character is framed. Also, I don't think Su'Kal is supposed to represent either an attack or a defense of Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces like some have suggested.

Sometimes a shrieking manchild is just a shrieking manchild.
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Bryan
Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 12:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Oh! And poor Stamets. Imagine being denied the opportunity to play hero by the self-styled hero because you're the Key To Everything. But that's enough. You also need to be striped of all agency and stuffed into a box and ejected into space because we can't have the Key To Everything falling into enemy hands, now can we? And then, this is where it gets rich: you're actually not the Key To Everything like everyone thought. At least not anymore! The hero's boyfriend is. And even the Emerald Chain's scientist knew it all along! So getting blown into space was all for naught.
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Bryan
Mon, Jul 12, 2021, 11:24pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I had given up on Discovery, having lost hope for the series after season 2 was even worse than season 1. A few friends asked me to reconsider and give it another chance since season 3 was supposed to be way better.

Well.. I think I can at least agree that it's less bad this time around but I wouldn't exactly call it "better" in any redeeming sense. Kurtzman's worst excesses have been slightly tempered by the inclusion of new writers, but all of the flaws and problems are still there, and no lessons have been learned. As others have noted, it had promise, but just like the seasons of yesteryear, it squandered that promise when the Mystery Box was finally opened, revealing the whole endeavour to be hollow to its core.

Now, as is tradition, it is time to poke fun at the actual episode:

- How is a 900 year old ship pitted against an entire fleet of ships plus a space station managing to last longer than a minute? I guess this what you get when you have writers who think that genre is meaningless.

- Just what kind of quarantine force field would cover an area that includes an exit into a corridor? A pretty counter-productive one.

- If Su'Kal's ship has only just now decided to lose all its structural integrity, wouldn't the whole threat of the Burn solve itself simply by doing nothing? No Su'Kal, no problem.

- I don't believe that simply being able to hold your breath for a long time makes you nearly impervious to low-oxygen environments.

- That's a pretty outrageous gamble: thinking that maybe because Booker is an empathy he might be able to interface with the spore drive and save the ship in the nick of time from its own warp core that you exploded. I mean..without even testing that theory first. But I guess desperate murders call for desperate measures.

- At least they didn't kill Saru off, but I still think his talents are being slightly under-utilized if he's going to trade his captaincy for babysitting the shrieking manchild. But I got to hand it to the writers; you found a way to finagle things to put Burnham in the captain's chair AND kept Tilly as first officer like you've telegraphed all along without throwing anyone under the bus. But will anyone still watch the show with that arrangement when literally anyone would make for better candidates?

- How great it must be to have a whole team of writers bending the plot around your need to be right every time so that you can convince even Vance to support your captaincy. Because all that matters are the results of your choices, and not the choices themselves.

- Someone asked: "How did the computer know not to beam Aurellio off the ship when Burnham commanded it to beam off all the Emerald Chain?"
I assumed that, being disabled, he had the same Plot Armor that all the marginalized cast members have that the other straight white males seem to lack.
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Bryan
Mon, Jul 12, 2021, 5:21pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

Incompetence compounds upon incompetence in this episode. Just think of how many problems could have been non-issues if Discovery had a shuttlecraft of its own. It looks like they have room for one or more, hence how Book is able to stow his ship. Would it be too much to ask the Federation to supply one given the extreme importance of the main craft? Instead, they always need to wait for last possible second for Book to volunteer himself and his ship because they can't order him around.

So now, Discovery is damaged because they tried to enter an unstable nebula with the whole ship. Then, rather than simply waiting 4 hours to complete repairs, they gotta rush back in for some reason. Never mind that couple hours isn't going to make much difference to a guy who's been waiting 130 years to be rescued.

Then the whole Osyraa debacle. If the best course of action was to jump away, why didn't they do that right away, but waited for Osyraa to put two and two together, and then telegraph exactly when they were going to do it? On that note, if Osyraa could have boarded the ship all along, why didn't she do so right away? I guess because the writers thought that trading schoolyard taunts was an effective display of Tilly's command ability? The reaction shots the crew seem to frame it that way.

There are other things to critique like the hypocritical character assassination of Saru compared to Burnham (BY Burnham no less), and the WHAT WERE THEY THINKING aspects surrounding the character Su'Kal. But I have a feeling that we have hitherto seen just the tip of the iceberg of those problems.
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Bryan
Mon, Jul 12, 2021, 12:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

Maybe not the worst episode of the season, but perhaps the most painful to watch so far:

- The uncomfortable reminder that Tilly is considered the best choice for commander in all universes. This makes me sad. For the multiverse.

- Georgiou telling Burnham that she should be the captain. No. Just...please, no. Don't put that idea in her head. Isn't it enough that the fate of the universe and everything else has always gotta revolve around her? Saru is an excellent captain and an important check to balance Burnham's savoir complex.

- Also Georgiou: "I wish I had learned these lessons a lot sooner." Yes, you and me both. Then you could have gracefully walked away with Tyler and joined him in development hell and spared us all the gratuitous EdgeLordery.

- I feel bad for the Guardian of Forever, once a harbinger of Momentous Things. Now thanks to the Temporal Time Directive, has been relegated to bestowing Christmas Miracles upon lesser characters and entertaining at children's birthday parties on Sunday afternoons.

- Georgiou's not-quite memorial service where everyone awkwardly musters trite and phoney speeches. "Uhh.. I liked her shoes..?" This is what you get when you're an incessant dick to everyone around you. You get a crappy funeral.
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Bryan
Sun, Jul 11, 2021, 8:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

Just chiming in late to add that even if the opportunity for a stronger metaphor is "wasted" in this episode, I think the allegorical connections established in "Forget Me Not" are sufficient enough to connect a non-binary actor with themes that are relevant both to non-binary people and Star Trek lore alike.

I'm referring to Adira's initial rejection at the hands of the Trill because her very existence was a threat to their cherished concepts and assumptions. Then, of course there was the Trill faction that made her body their business because they thought they knew better. All of this should be familiar territory for the non-binary and trans people watching that episode, and not only because those very issues rear their ugly heads once more in some of the discussion that's happened here.
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Aaron Bryant
Mon, May 17, 2021, 5:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

@Trish Hutch was not the only death overlooked in this episode, but also those of Kelsie's accomplices, including those only subdued by Picard, who made a point of that fact in both cases, but would later perish in the baryon sweep.

This episode is a good premise but just has too many loose ends. Why did Kelsie need the money? Why did her team not suspect she would betray them to remove their splits of the earnings? What was Arkania base's role in the plot? It all could've been executed a lot better, I think particularly if the motivation was something other than profit. Look at 11001001 from season 1 for a comparison.
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Bryan
Sun, May 17, 2020, 4:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Good to see that most people aren't buying the way the show so casually tries to excuse the murder of Maddox. All the characters seem to quickly forgive and forget because they're all one big happy family now, but that won't bring Maddox back.

Even though they brought back Culber, and Tyler arguably had a better excuse, not everyone completely forgave or forgot Tyler for what Voq did, or if they did, it took a while. Agnes will ultimately face the law, but will either be pardoned or found not guilty in short order because, like Tyler, her place in the show is assured not by the audience's approval but because the creators have an overriding respect for the actor.

#JusticeforMaddox
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Bryan
Sun, May 17, 2020, 1:07am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

"What you are about to experience will drive some of you mad, but those of you who endure will be stronger. Witness what must be prevented. Endure Star Trek: Discovery... if you can..."

Well, she had a point. Having lived through that certainly made Star Trek: Picard a lot more tolerable, right guys? ...Guys?

*notices all the corpses* Ohh...

-----

Seven of Nine: "Where's Hugh? What is happening on this cube?!"

You said it, Seven. Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the cube-side of the plot throughout the whole series.

-----

Jurati says she's decided to stop murdering people now so it makes total sense to allow her and Soji to be in a room alone together. It took a long time for Soji to finally trust Picard but all it takes from the person who just killed her creator (or would Maddox be more of a midwife?) are a few words of excitement and praise about how unique she is?
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Bryan
Sun, Feb 9, 2020, 2:21pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Also, a bit of fridge logic just struck me.

Does Saru owe Captain Pike an apology for what happened on Kaminar?

In "The Sound of Thunder", Saru sweeps away Pike's caution that altering the Klepian population's evolution may result in a violent revolution. Basically Saru says, "Just trust me, or at least trust that a more optimistic outcome is possible." And because Captain Pike is Captain Pike, he goes along with it.

And yet, when the cavalry arrives in "Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2" we see Klepians flying Ba'ul ships, which should be as shocking as it is horrific. Because the show never revisited Kaminar, and the last act we witness is the Ba'ul attempt mass genocide of the Klepians, it's safe to assume that the Ba'ul didn't just peacefully hand over their ships, and this should portent to a darker reality than what Saru promised.
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Bryan
Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 6:56am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Fantastic visuals, great action, and each character has their moment to shine.

Captain Pike: "Launch all starfighters-- I mean shuttles!"

Saru: "Engineering, you're not building fast enough! Raise snark to 98%!"

Georgiou: "Shit! I forgot how to math."

Spock: "There is no time for debate! And I have plot armor."

Cornwell: "The secondary detonation of this slowpedo has already been triggered. I estimate we have until the end of the season before it takes out half the ship!"

Culber: "Oh, right, I'm supposed to be in sickbay."

Tyler: *shouts orders in Klingon* (..wait, to the Klingon Empire, isn't he's supposed to be a disgraced beheaded traitor...?)

Cornwell: "Your story isn't over yet, and I think you know that."
Captain Pike: "Well, if I'm meant to be a disfigured paraplegic..."

-------

Overall, my thoughts about this season of DSC are complicated and conflicted. Perhaps it is appropriate to defer to the wisdom of Spock, who speaks with greater eloquence than I; to paraphrase:

"All people with knowledge of season 2 must be ordered never to speak of DSC, it's plot, or it's characters, ever again, under penalty of treason against Star Trek."



And in Tyler news:

"Well... since Section 31 is now a write-off, all its officers are missing or dead, and you've done absolutely nothing.....congratulations, Tyler, you win Section 31!"
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Bryan
Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 4:12am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Apologies in advance to Daya but this is one snark-worthy episode if I ever did see one...

Ohh the melodrama, unearned sentimentality, the many Mary Sue Moments, and everyone leaving their friends and family behind to accompany their Martyr-Savior Of The Universe because it's All About Burnham. Imagine if Wesley were ordered to his death via irradiated jefferies tube to save the ship, and then the rest of the crew said "Hold up, we're going in with you! And here's why..." It's almost that bad.

Burnham: "Oh, Captain Pike? Before you go, will you grace us with one final bask in our glorious lens flairs?"

I must have missed the scene(s) where Tyler was shown evacuating the ship before the self-destruct because I was half-expecting everyone would forget about him and leave him behind. Since he's not officially a member of the Discovery crew, he wouldn't have been accounted for.
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Bryan
Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 1:37am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Not as offensively bad as previous episodes, yet lacking anything fresh or noteworthy on the positive side to recommend it ...unless you're into mystical Klingons guarding their fantastical time crystals in the Mines of Moria.

LOL @ the Klingons in this series.. the writers walked back their revisions from season one, only to fancy them now as the Masters of Time when they couldn't even wrap their head around the fundamentals of cloaking and needed Romulan hand-me-downs to catch up.


Random observations:

- If proximity to the time crystals makes old men out of infants that fast, then the Klingons are gonna need a large supply of replacement Time Keepers, stat!

- I swear L'rell's head gets increasingly swollen each time we see her. She can barely manage it now, but I fear soon she won't be able to speak at all.

- Reno has returned from her month-long bender to partake in some gay camaraderie and give relationship tips.

- I'm looking forward to Leland's inevitable showdown with Burnham in which he reminds her that he still owes her one punch.


And in Tyler news:

He's mercifully absent for all but 5 minutes in which his hands are tied from doing anything of importance.
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Bryan
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:11pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

What I liked:

- the reunion of mother and daughter and the complex emotions that this evoked

What I didn't like:

- everything else

With plot holes aplenty this episode is ripe for the nittiest of picks, but since I'm rather late to the party I won't repeat what others have noticed.

Last time, someone astutely (and hilariously) noted that Culber was dressed for a night out on the town. I would have liked to have seen him live a little, find himself, or do whatever he had to do to work through his issues before he felt fit to put on his doctor's outfit and act as if his existential crisis never happened.

Hot take:

Control addressing Leland is really the writers' way of confronting the archetypal Straight White Male in the audience. At least those are the vibes I got.

And in Tyler news:

I agree with others that this was a missed opportunity to kill him off.
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Bryan
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

I try to be fair and balanced but episodes like this one just make it so hard.. indeed, this has got to be the most WTF-worthy show of the series thus far, and not in any redeemably good or exciting way.

I could go on and on about how stupid the Capture The Time Traveling Angel plan is, and the way they set about it... but most people here are pretty smart so I feel that I don't have to.

And what is it with people in DSC punching or pointing phasers at superior officers when ever they have a dispute or disagreement with them? And then everyone shrugging it off later as if nothing happened? Didn't people used to get court martialed, or threatened with it at the very least?

I think now that Burnham has finally lowered her defenses, her resuming the romance with Tyler is supposed to be the pay off that we've all been waiting for... as well as Tyler's true raison d'etre this season. However, I can't imagine the reception being any better than complete and utter indifference.
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Bryan
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 1:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

I'm of two minds about this one. Much like Saru's light lenses, there is more than one way to look at episodes like this.

On the one hand, proponents of DSC can rightly hold it up as an example of an entertaining, visually engaging, and emotional ride as can happen when DSC is able to do what it does best, playing to its strengths.

On the other hand, I find I need to turn off my brain in order to enjoy the ride along with them and -- this being Star Trek -- I don't feel like that's a fair expectation to have of me.

I agree with Jammer that it wouldn't have hurt for them weave Aryam's personal narrative into the series more organically rather than have it look like that they're only jamming it in right now for emotionally manipulative reasons. If they had just slowed down now and then to have members of the ensemble cast interact for reasons that aren't directly in service of plot, I know I would have enjoyed this series a lot more.

I don't like where this appears to be going with the ol' evil AI trope... yes, you can argue that this is still classic sci-fi, but I feel like there's a good reason this trope has hitherto been sidestepped in Star Trek with a few exceptions (could it be that it already has its own unique take on the matter that has already done it to death, being the Borg?). Rather than supposing that the writers have only just now thought up a way to make the trope fresh yet still meaningfully Trek, it's safer to assume that they're once again going for the low-hanging fruit.

And speaking of lenses, am I the only one who noticed that Saru was looking for heat signatures using a UV filter and finding nothing? Of course he wouldn't see anything. That would require an INFRARED lens. I wish they still had science advisers on the staff of these top-tier science fiction shows...

This episode gets an extra half star because Tyler doesn't get to make an appearance, still being in time-out.
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Bryan
Wed, Feb 5, 2020, 4:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Definitely a high point in this season as the writers saved all of the pay offs for this one episode. This price for this is that we had to sit through a whole lot of crazy BS in order to get here. Someone suggested that our impatience with these arcs has to do with our nostalgia for the more episodic eras, that we're too simple-minded to appreciate more "complex" storytelling.

I couldn't disagree more. Writers of TNG and DS9 managed create some competent and meaningful arcs that existed across individual episodes that were satisfying in their own right. It's a little bit more complex, yes, but all that it means is that it's all the more difficult to pull off successfully, and all the more rewarding when done so. While completion of these arcs felt like like a special treat for fans, DSC more often than not feels like a hot mess, with arcs that more or less "work" (even if some people don't particularly enjoy them) at the expense of episodes being vacuous, with a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I don't want to go so far as to suggest that the writers are idiots, only that they have perhaps bit off more than they can chew and often promise more than they can deliver.

It was also said early on in the comments that people who like the better episodes of DSC have forgotten what Trek is because the bar has been set so low. While I am tempted to agree that a bar has been lowered, I don't think we've forgotten. It's just that every time we praise an episode of DSC, there's an unspoken qualification that says, "that was good...for DSC."

There was a lot of stuff I liked here that others have commented on, but I particularly enjoyed what happened to Tyler, as undeserved as it may be. For those of us who dislike him (are there any fans of Tyler out there?) there's a certain degree of schadenfreude to be had when he not only gets a cathartic beating from Culber, but then has his shiny black badge plucked from his chest. Symbolically, he is stripped of the contrived importance that provided the sole reason for his continued existence on the show.
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Bryan
Wed, Feb 5, 2020, 2:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

I was a little puzzled at first as to why the threat of telling Burnham that Leland killed her parents would give Georgiou so much power over him... he's a high-ranking member of Section 31 which specializes in counter-intelligence and fabricating evidence....and what's Burnham gonna do? Frown at him really intensely and whisper her disapproval?

But then I recalled the fate of Lt. Connelly in the first episode of the season, who was quickly dispatched mid-sentence by the writers when he dared to condescend to their Mary Sue... so it's safe to say that Leland's days are numbered.


The thought of Sarek deep in meditation for days, maybe weeks, pushing his mental powers to the absolute limit in the Search for Spock, when Spock has been literally right under his nose the whole time because of his wife's machinations, is pretty hilarious and makes him look like a chump, even with the kryptonite or whatever. I can appreciate why he was slightly miffed. Somehow, Amanda manages to emasculate him even further when she twists his words into the pussy-whippable offense of implying that he has authority over her, when all he meant was that the using the house of an ambassador to harbor a fugitive is an abuse of the privileges that authority affords.


Tyler: I'm still here and I matter because Georgiou gave me this shiny black badge that means I get to mouth-breathe down your neck all the time and you need to tell me stuff because I'm important and have I shown you my badge yet?
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Bryan
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 11:18pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Agreed, best episode of the season thus far. Partially because this is what happens when you remove the urgent, frantic pacing and cataclysmic stakes that is so typical for the bulk of DSC and just let things breathe a little. But also because it feels so at home among classic Trek, climax aside.

When I see Discovery's more wholehearted fans disparage those of us who still have some reservations, when we invoke nostalgia about "true"/classic Trek and how DSC largely hasn't measured up; e.g. "That's a meaningless and fallacious comparison" or "It's completely subjective because it means something different to everyone" or "What would that even look like in 2019? What does that even meeean??" ...

...all of I can think is THIS. It means THIS, damn it.

Random observations:

The way Pike is so easily swayed by those around him after he gives a command, it's rare he actually follows through on his original judgement. A good captain listens, but if he constantly flip-flops after a command is given, it makes him look weak.
Case in point: When everyone suddenly decides it's a great idea to transmit alien signals to force the evolution of an entire population, Pike wisely questions this and looks like he's going to put on the breaks. This reasonable caution is shut down by Saru, of all people, who is too close the matter to be making such assurances. By now everyone is so used to Pike going with the flow that I wouldn't have been surprised if they all just forgot to wait on Pike to give the go-ahead.
Part of the problem is that the swift pacing gives no occasion for TNG-style Observation Lounge meetings in which everyone has a chance to give their recommendations before a decision is made.

Also:

Saru: "You're frail without your technology!"
Ba'ul: "On that note, take this!" *unleashes their technology*
Saru: *proceeds to use brute force to make their technology his bitch*
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Bryan
Fri, Sep 21, 2018, 9:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

Not that I’m agreeing with Elliot’s argument in whole, but he’s right in the sense that a 20-year-old and a 16-year-old sleeping together is statutory rape in most states and most of Europe. These numbers presented in this episode aren’t coincidences; the writers purposely chose controversial ages to maintain the no one right, “shades of gray” aspect of the show.
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Bryan
Sun, Jul 22, 2018, 8:49am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Prince of Space

“Their comments are gassy, overly long, unbelievably critical, and usually full of big words to emphasize the validity of their litany list of complaints. One could easily think they do not watch ST for pleasure, but rather to demonstrate their ability to dissect others’ work. ”

At least they’re commenting on the show instead of digging around the comment section of every episode and commenting only on the comments.
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Bryan
Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 8:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

“Yes, they honestly think the problem is that the episode ISN'T SEXY ENOUGH!“

They might have a point there. They’re trying to depict Risa as a special pleasure land for sexual desires and yet it hardly comes off any more daring than a day at a public beach. Perhaps if Risa were depicted as advertised, we might be willing to side with the Essentialists’ and Worf’s protests to some degree.

Another issue with it not being sexy enough is, even if they couldn’t make this a good episode storywise, it could have at least been a guilty pleasure to tune in to see our usually buttoned-down Starfleet crew engaged in some sci-fi-laden erotica. But alas, it fails on this level too.
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Bryan
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 3:40pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

In all the fairness, Riker only calls the Vulcans “aliens” when not around Cochrane in his Captain’s log. And even then, it sounds like Riker is describing a historical event from Earth’s perspective, so “alien” essentially works in context.
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Bryan
Thu, May 31, 2018, 3:15pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Relics

@Cody B

Interesting story and I like the idea of Scotty outsmarting everyone (like it should be!). But would you really get rid of the Dyson Sphere? I thought that was the most memorable part of the episode.
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Bryan
Sat, May 19, 2018, 11:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

“I am astonished by the immense number of comments concerning Sisko's dialogue with Kasidy; I mean, really?”

It’s really the only deep part of the episode. There’s only so much to say about poor Vic’s holographic misadventures.
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