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Chris L.
Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 11:41am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Just to add a comment on the whole Trill rules not making sense…

I always thought the rule about reassociation was only relevant between two joined Trills. Granted, Bashir’s clunky exposition about separating from former children and such undercuts this, but that could be because he is a human and doesn’t actually know what he is talking about.

I could understand why they wouldn’t want symbionts hanging out exclusively with each other for centuries. As for the rest of unjoined Trills and other “mortal” species, they don’t seem to care as much. That makes sense, given that taking up with a former lover that is unjoined would not potentially dominate centuries of a symbiont’s life, and would take up no more than…. one lifetime, literally. Even if that one lifetime managed to go through several hosts.

Exile and death of the symbiont does seem a harsh penalty. I would think exile and then returning the symbiont unjoined to the caves for a few hundred years to think it over after the death of the host might be more appropriate.
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Chris L.
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 10:55am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

What I find most galling and emblematic of the poor choices this season:

This season was ostensibly about rebuilding a floundering Federation. What planets are actually still members? Do we know of any for sure? I don’t recall them ever telling us or showing us anything about who remains in the Federation. The only planet we know for sure at the end is Trill, who has rejoined apparently.

And why, if Earth is no longer a member, are all the people at Starfleet command apparently human? Nobody on Earth even seemed to know where the HQ was, so how do they get these recruits? And why is the President (I am assuming Cronenburg is the President, which is another poor storytelling choice. Just who is that guy?) human as well?
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Chris L.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:36am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

And with that, it’s over.

The inside of the ship is mostly hollow space filled with turbo lifts. Who knew?

Is the sphere data gone now with the DOT dying? It rebooted, but did it retain all of the data? I hope not, because it was basically a deus ex machina and only served to remind me of the dumb decisions in Season 2.

I think I am done with Disco now. It has had its moments, but all in all it isn’t worth the time investment. There are better shows on television. I love ST, but this is just skating by on the name and I am tired of waiting for CBS to clue in and hire some writers that respect the franchise enough to at least try and understand it some.

Is Saru gone then? Like, not going to be in the next season because he’s gone back to Caminar? I hope not. It would be fitting for this show to get rid of anyone that dares take the spotlight off of Burnham from time to time.

I will wait until Season 4 is over and some season reviews are in before I decide to continue watching. I do like the uniforms though.
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 3:14pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Dreubarik

In my own head from now on, I am going to refer to this episode as “The one where Michael Corleone goes to the UN and applies for representation”
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:21am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

I should add to my above comment, I also have an issue with calling whatever the Emerald Chain does as "capitalism". It's mostly just anarchic collection of planets ruled by an iron fist. There are no discernible guiding principles or laws at all other than "Don't piss off Osyrra!" Osyrra seems to fund and take interests in things only that she can personally exploit. The very idea of there being a structure to it beyond a criminal organization through me for a loop.
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Dreubarik-

"- I will add that I am somewhat distressed by the answer that the writers seem to be providing: That the Federation must indeed accept capitalism as a necessary evil. To be clear, I do agree that this may be the case today (though I reiterate that the writers don't understand what "capitalism" is) but it is concerning that such a moral is being applied with little discussion to a utopian future shaken by a natural-resource disaster. It is the latest example that showcases that NuTrek writers may be openly progressive, but they are also unconsciously deeply neoliberal. "

Yes, this. Rare event natural disasters are also what capitalism does very poorly (generally speaking), since there is no competitive advantage to prepare for every conceivable thousand year event. That is where centralized governments and 'socialism' do better. Not trying to turn this thread into a debate about the relative merits of either one, but if the show runners want to bring these issues up, they should at least understand these concepts better.

This episode was better. That said, it was very hard for me to suspend disbelief after Osyra revealed she just wanted to open peace negotiations. Seriously? The federation is obviously interested in peace and stability and always would have taken that meeting. You use that olive branch and some concessions to get your hands on the spore drive through negotiations. Not steal it and then come to the table when you already have everything you need. She wants the good name of the federation? Why the heck does she need that? She has a spore drive and can possibly replicate it and do whatever she wants!

Also, I guess the magic mushroom highway is fully healed and impervious to continued jumping now? I seem to recall a plot thread from one of the other seasons that each jump was killing the network a little bit more. Maybe it's fine for Disco to jump occasionally all on its lonesome, but it seems a whole fleet of them would be bad, considering the effect was measurable with just one ship. Or was it only jumping into the MU that decayed the network? It's so hard to keep up with the nonsense....

This season started off stronger, but went off on a weird tangent or two and lost my interest. It's finishing stronger again, but I am tired of it. I think next season, I will just wait till the end of the season and only buy one month of CBS and watch it all at once. I'd support it more fully and keep my subscription if the show were a bit better.
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Chris L.
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 8:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@grey cat

I think Burnham is poorly written in kind of the same way Jadzia Dax was. She is supposed to be this nearly unparalleled superhuman in terms of her abilities. But they do a poor job conveying that very well at all. Or even at all. She comes across as an emotional mess, whose insubordination is often unjustified and also unpunished. I get why you might be hesitant to punish an Einstein on your crew that breeches chain of command more than the others, but they really don’t convey that she is anything special.

I liked Jadzia Dax as a character in the end, but she was never particularly well written. She had her moments though, which ended up working just enough (at least for me) to not be completely annoyed by her in nearly every episode. Burnham doesn’t meet that standard...
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Chris L.
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 8:58pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@brian-

Watching the new episodes of the Expanse and then Disco back to back was a thoroughly depressing thing to do. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” indeed. I don’t want my Star Trek universe to be more like the Expanse’s, but I do want my characters to be as well thought out and engaging.

My least favorite character on The Expanse is actually the skinny white guy protagonist. He’s just not that interesting. But everyone else is, so it works.
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Chris L.
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 8:04pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@Chris Lopes-

Exactly this.

I don’t mind having a trans/non-binary character. Or a female protagonist. Or any other character race/gender in any role. But if it doesn’t also come with good characterization and groundwork, then it can come off as “Look at us! We put in someone of background xyz in an important role!” I don’t think they intend it that way, because honestly, so many of the characters on this show are poorly written.

But any character whom we know well and is well written and isn’t primarily defined by their race or gendered status is fine by me. If the writers haven’t cleared that (very low) hurdle, that is kinda on them. Why should I like any random character that is poorly written, regardless of race, gender, etc? Am I supposed to like them just because of that trait? Because that is kinda weird.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

@Preconia -

That makes a lot more sense then. Thanks. I still think a two-parter is an awful lot of real estate in a short season for the MU, but at least I know it won't end in a weird MU cliffhanger. Probably, anyways.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 2:18pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

That was... something.

It was fun, and developed the mirror universe in a pleasant way. It was entertaining and I enjoyed watching it.

I guess my main criticism is that it felt like a good MU filler episode from some previous trek incarnation that had a 26 episode season? It does nothing to forward the story arc of the season, and at episode 9/10, I’m still not even sure what the main story arc is. It focused on Georgiou, one of my least favorite characters, but it finally gave her the context and gravity she deserves to not be a cartoon villain. Maybe this episode should have happened much earlier in the season?

That said, it did well enough. Discovery in general does well when it takes the camera off of Burnham for awhile and lets other characters flesh out. I wish they had just killed off Georgiou ages ago and fleshed out someone else here, like Detmer or the often neglected Owo. But it worked.

A two part MU episode is not how I would have guessed that this season would or should end. I guess I’ll wait and see how this plays out. But it entertained in its own ADHD kind of way on a smattering of season long arcs, and I guess in the end I can’t complain too much about that. I just wish it were more Star Trek. I always thought that the MU was an indulgence for the writers, and it basically operated as occasional filler fanfic episodes. I guess we’ll have to see where this is all going next week. It could end up tied together well, or end in random hanging plot threads that don’t make a lot of sense per usual. In the meantime, I’ll give this one a 3/4.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:07pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

@Susie R.

I am so very sorry that happened to you here. On a message board, poor actors have a way of sticking out like a sore thumb. I am sorry you won’t post more, because I like reading different perspectives. You are right that this place is a little male dominated.

I personally responded to Stacy to do just that, share a different perspective and have a discussion without animosity or judgement. Stacy has a valid point, but not everyone agrees. I come on here and am critical of the show sometimes, but not always. I gave Forget Me Not 4 stars. There are some gems in this show, and I enjoy watching it. It’s not a hate watch thing. But I don’t have to like every episode, and I can notice certain writing patterns that I find lazy or annoying when they keep popping up.

But I truly don’t want to take away anyone else’s enjoyment of any episode they like, or belittle anyone because they like or don’t like an episode I found particularly lame/awesome. I don’t speak for everyone, obviously, but I do think that most people are acting in good faith that way. I think when a couple of people really lay it on thick and other people post somewhat critical reviews right next to it, it can seem that everyone just hates the show. But I really don’t think that is true.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 1:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

@stacy -

White male here. I cry. I have cried during movies and TV shows.

My chief criticism of Burnham is not that she cries a lot. It’s that her crying is used to convey moments of deep emotional weight in a kind of lazy way. You are right that the moments she has cried are warranted for her as a character, or at least should be. A crew member and friend leaves the ship and she might never see or hear from them again? I might cry myself! The only problem is we’ve never before seen any real companionship between Naha and Burnham before. As a viewer, it is barely clear that they even know each other.

And that is the crux of most of the criticism, I think. I can’t speak for everyone, but it is certainly that way for me. To me, it appears that whenever the writers end something that should have emotional weight, but doesn’t because of their previous failures as writers, they just have Burnham cry to remind us all that we are supposed to feel something.

I actually think SMG is a pretty good actress, but has been given a shiat character and is doing the best she can.
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Chris L.
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 12:13pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

@trent -

I think you are the first to mention it, but I am glad I am not alone in finding the "invocation of ancient point of order requiring a response" thing was a bit jarring.

I immediately started thinking: What academic or procedural traditions do we have that have been around, relatively unchanged for 800+ years? Almost none. Why should we believe they would have even heard about that procedural thing?

Traditions and bureaucratic procedures tend to evolve rather quickly with the times unless they have a religious quality to them. Some religious ceremonies (like communion, or a bar mitzvah, for example) are relatively steady, but they are the rare exception. Even then, I can't imagine going into a Catholic church for a service circa 1100 AD would be the same experience as it is today, even if it would be recognizable.

I was willing to let it slide because I was happy to get a 'courtroom' style show. But yeah, I have to agree with most of your criticisms. Still, seeing Burnham get chewed out and called out for all her selfish nonsense made it worth watching and got a couple stars from me for that alone. Even though nothing about the rest of it made any sense, including the very illogical decision to give her the data.
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Chris L.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

@Mal -

If Michael, Georgiou and Book leave and do their own spinoff program, it would be the best thing that happened to Discovery as a TV series.

I agree with your review 100%, with one notable exception: Georgiou's line "You had me at unsanctioned mission" for me was the the most groan inspiring. I went from "mildly intrigued" by the somewhat new direction for her character last week back to "God, she's an awful character with dialogue that even Michelle Yeoh can't save" this week.
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Chris L.
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 1:39pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@Karl Zimmerman-

I thought this episode was not as good as the last, but was still a step up from previous seasons and continues a general trajectory slowly rising out of mediocrity.

But in response to your comment, I agree the "Burn" is continuously mentioned every 10 minutes, and quite frankly, I really don't care. I can see why everyone cares about it and it serves as a MacGuffin, but I worry that they are trying to make it more than that. From the viewer's perspective, it is just a 100 year old cold case. I'm happy to accept it as a plot device explaining a diminished Federation, but that's about it. At this point, recovering from the "Burn" is far more important than figuring out "Whodunnit".

I think the ship they found (can't remember the name) was probably not the actual original 1000-year old ship. More like it was the name of the project, and whatever ship is carrying the seed vault is called "Tikhov" (or whatever it was named). It could have been the Tikhov-P, or it could be kind of like whatever plane the President is on being called "Air Force 1". I didn't think about it that much, but I didn't get the sense that it was supposed to be the original ship.
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Chris L.
Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 12:43pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

@zanki-

Jadzia hallucinated about Joran and had visions of him that nobody could see. So too did Ezri.

More on point to Adira's experience, Ezri was able to 'summon' Joran, and after that she could interact with Joran like he was an external person like Adira can see Gray, but nobody else could. At least until she "unsummoned him".

So there's precedent for it. Plus, Adira is human, so the host/symbiont experience may be somewhat different. It didn't bother me too much.
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Chris L.
Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 9:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

@Chrome-

I think Stamets gets upset and is short with Tilly because he is a deeply insecure person that compensates by being overly critical of everyone around him. I think he is deeply conflicted about finding a different option for the spore drive, and has a deep seated fear of being irrelevant if a non-human option is found. I think he really doesn’t want to find one because he likes being the linchpin, which is part of why he jumps down Tilly’s throat and doesn’t want to give her ideas the time of day. Some of this comes out at the dinner, too.

It is subtle, which is new for this show. But I think that is what the writers are going for, and part of why I love this episode.
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Chris L.
Thu, Nov 5, 2020, 1:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

This is the Discovery I’ve been waiting for. A whole episode of character development! There was more packed into this episode than nearly two full previous seasons. For the first time, Discovery went all touchy feely on me and scored a well-earned hit.

I particularly enjoyed the dinner scene. It struck as real. Everyone has been through a trauma, and it’s about time Discovery actually showed us the fallout from that, other than just putting it in an expository officer’s log saying: “the crew is on edge and are still dealing with the time shift” and then proceeding to have an episode that barely touches on that or reinforces it.

This episode worked better than any in the whole series. I even bought the renegade Trill guy coming around at the end. It was a wonderful use of the Trill species to tell a part of the story this season rather than just be fan service by their presence.

Discovery’s first 4 star episode in my book.
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Chris L.
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 11:56am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

The good news is that there is a real chance for a season full of world building, and a move away from the ridiculous plot lines that involve the entirety of organic life in the galaxy as stakes. A more focused series on the littler things and the mystery of the ‘burn’ could be good.

The bad news is that it is mostly the same writers, so they will probably turn it into a cluster by mid season where Michael Burnham saves the universe single handedly with zero character development three separate times. The dialogue in this episode was atrocious across the board. Have the writers actually had any conversations with real people? Like, ever?

Overall: I liked it as an opener. The potential is better already than either of the other seasons. 2.5 stars, mostly for the inane dialogue. Otherwise 3. I am cautiously optimistic.
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