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CJE
Sat, May 12, 2018, 6:06am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

I seem to be going against the grain here, but I think this is actually one of Voyager's better episodes. It delves into a theme that TNG rarely got right (except perhaps in Hero Worship). I think it was Levar Burton who said that he wished TNG explored the aspect of having family aboard the Enterprise more, and I think this is an episode that does that very successfully. It's not meant to be an action adventure; it's an examination of a child's life aboard a starship, with all the wonder and risk that entails. The fact that Samantha dies or survives is not the point; the situation allows us to get to know both Naomi and Neelix, and this is a rare case where the writers really get Neelix right. For me, the reset button isn't pushed at the end of this episode; Neelix, Naomi, and Samantha have a real character arc. I thought this was a theme worth exploring.
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CJE
Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

Oh man... easily Voyager's worst episode... worse than Threshold.
Yes, I said it, and I meant it.
This could have been a Chakotay-development episode, i.e. delving into his past, why he joined the Maquis, his passion for anthropology, his relationship with his heritage, his family, and his friends, (and maybe a bit about boxing). Instead, we get a boxing episode with aliens who make no sense. I guess this is comparable to Twisted, but that episode preserved the sense of mystery and developed the crew's relationships. The Fight spent 45 minutes doing nothing.
At least Threshold developed Paris's character.
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CJB
Sat, Apr 7, 2018, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

Hey, an alien race that can only communicate by punching Chuckles in the face?

I'm all for it. :-)
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CJB
Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 4:28am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Something that HASN'T changed, sadly; the outrage at the perception that an attractive white woman can get whatever she wants, at the expense of a man's self-worth and reputation.

I remember being super angry at that kind of idea in the 90's; but I was also a hormonally-charged, socially-inept and sexually frustrated teenage virgin at the time.
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CJB
Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 4:20am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Just a thought: If Kovin lives in a society where even an accusation of misconduct will destroy his business, why is he so poorly equipped to defend himself?

It feels like Russian dash cam scenario, where you want incontrovertible proof of all interactions.

Like others here, I think VOY tried to do a "your memories of trauma can deceive you" story, but fumbled it (as usual). And in the process, they accidentally wrote a prescient allegory about the current climate of "believe victims" and "false accusations."

We should all try to remember that twenty years ago, victim-blaming and false rape were not the headline grabbing hotpoints they are now.
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CJE
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

Amazing... Michael McKean is just the best. He makes the clown charming, morbidly funny, and terrifying. The lighting, pacing, and script are great. A nice foil for Harry, the Doctor, and Janeway.
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CJE
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

A fun action piece, and an interesting dilemma. Unfortunately, Janeway's resolution to it is uncharacteristically simplistic.

This is one of the times where they should have bashed it out in the writers' room a little harder... like when Ronald D Moore wanted Wesley to stay loyal to his friends instead of Starfleet in "The First Duty" (which would have been more controversial, and more interesting), and when Worf refused to help treat the Romulan patient in "The Defector" (which gave depth to his character, in my opinion).

The ending would have been more effective if Janeway chewed out the Trabe for their act of violence, but maintained the alliance with them. There wasn't much choice... with the Trabe and all the Kazon factions as their enemies, I was surprised they lasted until the next week. As a leader, Janeway would have had to recognize the Trabe alliance as a necessary evil, and grudgingly maintain it. That's the kind of sacrifice that her crew needed her to make, no matter how much she hated herself for it. I thought the Trabe/Kazon conflict was very interesting and should have been developed further.
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CJE
Sat, Mar 10, 2018, 6:49am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

It's exciting to see a Vulcan 'unmasked', especially one as closely-guarded as Tuvok. A great performance from Tim Russ, and from one of my favourite actors, Brad Dourif. If you haven't seen HBO's "Deadwood", it's a masterpiece, and Dourif is exceptional in it. And, for once, he doesn't play a psychopath, traitor, or murderer!
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CJE
Sat, Mar 10, 2018, 6:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

Anything that takes Tuvok out of his comfort zone adds depth to him, and these are the only times we really get to know him. It was nice to see his paternal, empathetic side. Unfortunately, this episode is slightly ruined for me by cliché "fanatical xenophobic irrational aliens-of-the-week" whose only role is to obstruct the protagonists.
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CJE
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

I have to echo nemo's comments. I feel the same way.

The idea of meeting your descendants, getting to know them, seeing how they live, and having to choose between giving them life or going back to the life and people you love... I wouldn't want to make that choice, ever.
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CJE
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Wow, this episode has a lot of comments! Yikes...

Worf's story about his past really does a great job of explaining why he has been so careful over the past ten years, making sense of his comment in TNG "Yesterday's Enterprise" — "I would require a Klingon woman. Earth females are too fragile." It is a shame that Jadzorf (or Wadzia) ended up being so cliché. When you think about it, a woman with eight lifetimes of experience and a Klingon raised on Earth who suffered discommendation twice should have given the writers plenty of unique material to explore beyond "we fight all the time" and "Worf's jealous".

Initially, in TNG "The Emissary", Worf's relationship was going to be with the Vulcan Dr. Selar (played by Suzie Plakson, the same actress who played K'Ehyler), which would have been interesting. But K'Ehyler was a great character, so it probably worked out for the best.
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CJE
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

I love this one. It goes to the root of Star Trek, and it really deepens the relationships between Jake & his father and O'Brien & Bashir. By the way, no one said the sailing ship was made of wood. The only thing that didn't make sense to me was why they had artificial gravity, but the episode was so good that I didn't care. O'Brien and Bashir singing... amazing. "At first, I hated you... and now...now... I don't."
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CJE
Tue, Dec 19, 2017, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Always enjoyed this one, and brings back fond memories. The allegory is a little heavy-handed, but TOS never shied away from that. Nimoy, Meyer, and co. made a great team.
The Klingons' behaviour in this film seems more akin to the way it was in TOS, not in keeping with what previous films and TNG had begun to establish. It's not really a complaint, since the plot demanded it.
The Romulans could have been substituted for the Klingons with almost no changes required, right down to sending Kirk and McCoy to Remus instead of Rura Penthe. Valeris could have easily been a Romulan spy, which would have explained a lot. Kirk's personal history with the Klingons makes it essential that they are the main antagonists in this film, but if Star Trek III had gone the way Harve Bennett originally intended (with Romulans as the antagonists) then VI would have worked beautifully that way too.
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CJE
Tue, Dec 19, 2017, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

Kirk "You would find me a formidable enemy."
Spock "I am aware of that, Captain. I trust you are aware of the reverse..."
Spock to Sulu "I suggest you remember that my operatives would avenge my death. And some of them... are Vulcans..."
The most bad-ass Spock ever!!!
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CJE
Mon, Dec 18, 2017, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: That Which Survives

Pointless observation: this episode invented the disco cube. Watch until the end...
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CJ
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Thanks for the review Jammer! I largely agree with most of what you said, but like a lot of viewers, feels a bit too derivative of what came before. I'd go 2-2.5 stars myself.
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CJ
Wed, Aug 6, 2014, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

I find the battles a bit tiresome at this point. There's a disconnect between the ease with which Federation fleets are rendered useless and the pace of the war. I can't reconcile it. If they're beaten that swiftly, shouldn't this have been over much sooner?

That being said, I enjoyed the way this episode wrapped up. The last few episodes have seen Demar begin to question his allegiance and you finally get to see the result of that conflict. They have obviously pulled out all the stops in closing out the series and it holds up well.
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CJ
Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

I was able to suspend disbelief on the technical issues and enjoy the show. It was much, much better than Similitude; I couldn't figure out all that episode asked me to believe. DNA can do anything, and you just had to watch and wonder what it would do next. In this one they laid out some rules for how time travel worked, and they stuck to it. Since time travel isn't a phenomenon in the real world, I could accept Daniels having ability to send them back in time without having details on what they were looking for. One you accept that, the story is nothing amazing, but it was an interesting hour of television.
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CJ
Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

The DNA memories were just impossible to accept. Star Trek has a history of plots based on DNA magic. This was one of the worst. I guess the theory behind this episode is he was aging rapidly and at each age he had the memories that trip had at that age. It's so bizarre that I can't suspend disbelief because I'm not even clear what the episode is asking me to believe.
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CJ
Fri, Jan 4, 2013, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

I think his mind-reading abilities weren't nearly 100%. That's why she didn't feel extremely violated and why he didn't know all the right things to say to her.

What was up with her choice of outfits? She knows this guy fancies her. She's has to spend the night at his house for work. It's weird that she would bring sexy outfits and nightclothes. The situation was uncomfortable to begin with, but she escalated it. I can't understand why she got out of uniform.
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CJ
Wed, Dec 30, 2009, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I think my favorite part(s) of this episode is when the music in the holonovel suddenly cuts after the narrative (with the computer sound). A small, but brilliant little detail that most people would miss, but to me, adds just a bit more to the comedic end of things.

One of my favorites of the series though, well written, acted and directed. Great job!
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CJ
Thu, Dec 24, 2009, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

@Will: Actually, DS9's 100th episode was "The Ship"; "Trouble" happened a few episodes later.

I enjoyed this episode a great deal; though I found old Harry's "angst" to be a bit overdone in spots, his final cry of triumph at the end was just about the best thing I've ever seen Wang do on the show; it felt very real after all the years of dealing with his (Harry's, not Wang's) failure.

If I had to rate the show with a gun to my head, I'd say 3 1/2.
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CJ
Tue, Dec 15, 2009, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Initiations

Interesting parallel with this plot and Aron Eisenberg guesting. I like the inter-series situation of Chakotay talking about earning his uniform, when right around the same time this was aired, Nog was on his way to SF Academy. I found Eisenberg's delivery a bit too Nog-like in some respects, though that may be because I had watched DS9 seasons 4-7 over the last several weeks.
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