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Caroline
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Wow, I'm surprised so many people love this. For me, it was the worst DS9 since that embarrassing Risa episode (ok, this wasn't QUITE as bad as that one but then nothing is...). It's a shame because I want to like it and I think the issues raised are important to examine but I can't get past a) the pointlessness of the plot and b) Avery Brooks' even-worse-than-usual scenery chewing. I could barely watch his breakdown scene which came across as ridiculous instead of powerful. I was very aware of watching an actor instead of just watching the character, which pulled me out of the episode.

But even apart from that - what was the point? Either none of this ever happened, Bennie never existed and it was all just a dream...or it DID happen and we're supposed to believe the whole of DS9 is just Bennie's dream. So either the episode was pointless or else the whole of DS9 is pointless. Or did the prophets just want to say to Sisko, "hey dude, people's lives used to really suck hundreds of years ago so don't be such a baby about losing some battles to the Dominion"? If so, that seems stupid too and if that was their message you'd think they'd at least give the dream character some sort of victory against oppression - instead his stories aren't published, he has a breakdown and gets carted off, presumably (this being the 50s) to some horrific asylum. How is that supposed to lift Sisko's spirits? The message is basically "decent guy keeps fighting against the odds and ends up totally screwed". The fact that Sisko seems to find this inspiring doesn't make much sense.

It might have worked on a different premise, if Sisko had actually gone back in time for example. But the "it's all a dream" thing...sorry, it just seemed completely meaningless to me.

And, much as I love Trek dealing with social issues, I do think it works better using allegories or aliens. That TNG episode with the gender-neutral aliens wouldn't have been nearly so effective if they'd just had a traditional homophobic society and a gay couple had asked the Enterprise for asylum or something. It worked precisely because it presented the issue from a different angle to show how stupid the prejudice was.
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Caroline
Fri, May 13, 2016, 6:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part II

I agree with Luke, I loved the fact that a Vulcan was part of the Maquis, and LOVED how Quark talked her round with Ferengi logic. I can't believe how much I'm really starting to like him!

Solid two-parter. Loving the well-done sci fi politics. Liked Dukat and Sisko teaming up. The only thing that held it back for me was Avery's acting. Sorry but it still grates on me like crazy and it ruined what should have been a great speech about "paradise Earth" etc because all I could think about was how much he was overpronouncing every single word and making his eyes bulge in an effort to look impassioned.
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Caroline
Sun, May 8, 2016, 4:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

Another weird thing is, if there are so many M class planets free in the neighbourhood, why didn't the Bajorans just settle on one of them during the occupation instead of living in camps as unwelcome immigrants on worlds inhabited by other species?
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Caroline
Sun, May 8, 2016, 4:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

I really don't think the Ferengi are supposed to be Space Jews. They're supposed to be a representation of the excesses of capitalism. I read somewhere that a lot of the Trek species were initially supposed to represent different human characteristics, so Vulcans = logic, Klingons = aggression, Ferengi = greed, etc.

If anything, if the Cardassians are supposed to be Space Nazis, it's the Bajorans who are Space Jews, which does kind of fit nicely with the importance of their religion and the way their persecution by the Cardassians has made many Bajorans xenophobic and distrustful of outsiders.

Anyway, dreadful episode. The only part I liked was actually the Universal Translator. It's a shame because it could've been a really interesting premise, and particularly relevant at the moment with the Syrian refugee issue. Unfortunately the Skreeans were so massively annoying, entitled, rude and petulant that I wouldn't have minded Sisko telling them all to shove off back through the wormhole.

And the portrayal of the Skreean males was absurd. How can their species even survive if, what, 70% of them have a mental age of about 12?

LOL at William B:
did she really spend all that time saying "LOOK AT THIS STUPID DRESS!"
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Caroline
Fri, May 6, 2016, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rules of Acquisition

I've always hated the Ferengi but Quark has grown on me and was actually really likeable and sympathetic in this ep. Pel was good, even the Grand Nagus was ok and I liked his savvy scheming and the reveal of him really seeking info on the Dominion. All in all, the first ever Ferengi episode I've actually enjoyed.

I didn't see Pel's reveal to the Nagus as being about her broken heart, more about trying to effect change in Ferengi society and prove females are as capable of profit as males, which is consistent with what she was doing in disguise in the first place. I thought Quark did care for her and probably knew he would have fallen in love with her if they had any more time together. I thought there was some good chemistry between them,..and I never thought I'd say that about any Ferengi characters!
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Caroline
Thu, May 5, 2016, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

@Robert
Agreed, I see where Sisko was coming from. I also don't mind characters making wrong choices for understandable/believable reasons, as long as it's not all the time (because then I can't really root for "our guys"). But this is Sisko's first strike for me so no biggie (yet)!

I think it'd be different if it was the Bajorans who had kidnapped him. But they didn't do anything wrong and they are now his family. He wants to stay with the people who brought him up and cared for him and not be sent away with a man he doesn't even remember. Who can blame him? Pa'Dar may be his biological father but he's not his real father in an emotional sense. Like you said upthread, there is no good solution that makes everyone happy - except perhaps shared custody (which would've been an interesting diplomatc exercise between Bajor & Cardassia!)

From what I know of the law here in the UK, if a child is wrongly adopted or something similar it's not a simple process to return them to their biological family, even in early childhood. Certainly at age 12, if they want to stay with their foster/adoptive parents, I don't think they'd be forced to leave against their will unless something major, like abuse, was going on. They might be encouraged to spend some time with their biological family but it would be their choice whether to explore that or not. That's basically how it went down in Suddenly Human.

Yeah, it's interesting that both times the boys are sent back to "the enemy". But no, I wouldn't feel better if Rugal was sent to Betazed - ok, at least it's not run by Space Nazis but it still wouldn't be his home. Bajor is his home. I guess one of the other interesting ironies of this ep is that the kids who actually DID want to go to Cardassia weren't allowed to, while the one who really didn't was forced to against his will.
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Caroline
Thu, May 5, 2016, 7:53am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

After loving TNG since the 90s I'm finally now watching DS9 for the first time. Season 2 is pretty strong so far after a disappointing 1st season (except for the outstanding Duet).

Loved the intrigue in this ep and loved seeing Garak and Bashir investigating. Bashir is much improved from his irritating smugness of last season. Also loved Keiko calling out O'Brien on his casual racism, especially because it actually seemed to make an impact and he grew to change his attitude by the end.

I didn't like the ending though. I can see the arguments in favour of sending Rugal to Cardassia and no, it's probably not healthy for him to hate his biological heritage the way he does - but it's not clear that his new life on Cardassia will be any better and he certainly doesn't deserve to have the decision made over his head and against his will. At 12, in most cases, the child's wishes would carry significant weight in any custody case (in Europe anyway, and I expect in America too). Sisko's decision seemed to place far too much importance on Rugal's father's interests and wishes, when it should have been Rugal's interests and wishes that were paramount. The wishes of both fathers should be irrelevant - children are people, not the property of their parents. TNG's Suddenly Human handled this much better in my opinion. Picard didn't just send Jono home, he acknowledged that he'd been wrong to try and forcefully separate him from his adoptive father in the first place.

I can live with the lead characters making decisions I disagree with from time to time but I hope it doesn't happen too often. That's what ruined Voyager for me - by the end of the series Janeway had made so many horrible choices that I was rooting for her to be assimilated by the Borg. On the plus side, at least Sisko's weird OTT mannerisms are being toned down...or maybe I've just got used to them 😁
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Caroline
Sat, Mar 19, 2016, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

@Ben Franklin
Sure, for someone who HAS been raped/assaulted they never forget it and are traumatised etc - I don't think anyone is disagreeing. But what this episode is showing is someone who WASN'T assaulted but unconsciously changes her memories of events to make herself believe Riker was being aggressive and she was resisting, when in reality she was probably coming onto him just as much. And Riker also changes his memories to make himself believe SHE was the aggressor and he was being 100% professional and resisting her advances, when in reality we all know he was probably flirting with her like he always does with any attractive female humanoid.

That's the point - we all change our memories to some extent to make ourselves feel better, especially when something bad happens and we want to believe it's not our fault. I thought the episode handled this perfectly. They could have copped out by making Manua's species "unreadable" to Betazoids so we'd end up believing she simply lied to implicate Riker. But they didn't cop out and it's a much more interesting episode as a result. It's a good character moment for Troi as well - she wants to protect Riker and believes he's innocent but even so she doesn't lie, she tells him the hard truth.

The ending was neat too, if a bit convenient... Holodecks are problematic in 1000 ways though so we always have to suspend disbelief in holostories lol.
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