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Tue, Aug 3, 2021, 5:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

Better than the study in moral autism that was “Insurrection,” but that’s a pretty low bar.

Looking back, I think that what I liked about “Nemesis” were the few nods to continuity that it managed (especially considering how much continuity it chucked right out the window.) As poorly handled as it was, there’s a fanboy part of me that wouldn’t have been happy if Will and Deanna hadn’t ended up together, after their “imzadi” relationship was barely touched over the entire course of TNG. I liked that the Betazoid nudist weddings weren’t forgotten. And of course, Riker absolutely has to finally have his own ship.

Mind you, the reasons for these things not happening in the series aren’t addressed. We don’t hear anything about Will and Deanna reluctantly refusing to be together like that because it would be awkward while they serve on the same ship. And Riker wouldn’t take his own command because whatever ship they could offer him, “She’s not the Enterprise.” I guess all of that was left behind? But no matter, at least it got done.

I guess it says something that I’ve only spoken well of the character moments, and haven’t said anything kind about the story itself. There’s just not that much to praise. It was fun as an action-heavy popcorn movie, but that’s all it really tried to be, and I think that’s sad for the crew’s swan song. Even worse is that, again, so much continuity was sacrificed for that, along with Picard’s character and Data’s life. I guess I’m just left feeling that it wasn’t worth it.

Ah well. It was what it was. And, writing this comment in 2021, we now have further Star Trek properties, including “Picard” which continues the story for at least some of our beloved characters. So “Nemesis” wasn’t the absolute finale, as it was assumed to be at the time. Based on the reviews I’ve seen here, I imagine most of us can agree that’s, at least, a good thing.
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Wed, Jul 28, 2021, 7:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

Someone already mentioned about how the characters undermine this episode’s message by almost totally ignoring the game-changing discovery made here - after “Force of Nature” we get, what, one more mention of the warp speed limit before everything is back to normal? But I think the deeper irony is that the writers didn’t bother accepting their own premise.

We all know that this story, like all of Trek’s social commentary, is meant to speak directly to the viewers. Interesting then that we are being implicitly asked to shoulder the burden of helping fight climate change - paying more for energy, driving more expensive hybrid or electric cars, etc etc - while the very people sending this message can’t even be inconvenienced to honor the limitations they just introduced on this fictional universe.

We understand why: Star Trek would be hobbled if warp drive were actually destroying space and nobody could travel at fast speeds. The show might even get boring. Heaven forbid, money could be lost!

But it’s still damning optics when the people who penned this story are happy to lecture us about how we must make sacrifices for the cause, while they sit comfortably in the executive’s chair and ignore that cause themselves (after this one episode) because taking it seriously would be too hard for them.

If it matters, I’m no climate denier. I actually take global warming very seriously, though in the spirit of Star Trek, I do prefer humanity employ a technological solution to this problem rather than a regressive one. But I don’t feel the need to sit still for barely concealed Captain Planet-style preaching from people who are total hypocrites on the subject.

Aside from that, terrible episode for all the structural reasons that have been analyzed to death. 2 stars? You’re a generous man, Jammer. 0.5 from me.
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Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate


You’re correct that the end of the episode changes the moral dynamic of the story. I was actually remarking upon the ethics of Kamala living her life as “intended”, if everything had gone according to plan. Opinions on her role are strong: Crusher says it’s slavery, Picard says it’s an arranged marriage, some people on this thread say it’s an unconscionable objectification of Kamala (and women generally, by extension). I say it doesn’t matter what you want to call it, so long as it’s what Kamala really, truly wants.

The ending moves this episode from, in my opinion, a simple story of a woman choosing the life that will most fulfill and satisfy her, into the realm of being a tragedy. As you say, the question becomes a utilitarian one: Is it right to “sacrifice” Kamala and her happiness if it means stopping a war between two civilizations?

Something I’m surprised not to have seen discussed in this thread is the issue of whether, at the end of the episode, Kamala could possibly have had a happy life no matter what happened. We know from the ambassador that her species can live for up to 200 years. Patrick Stewart was 52 when the episode was made; Famke Janssen was 28. Now, let’s just say Kamala had abandoned her duty and requested asylum aboard the Enterprise, and Picard had somehow allowed it so they could remain together. To be brutally frank, she’d have had…what? 50 more years out of him before he died of old age (assuming higher average life expectancy in the 24th century)? If she can only “imprint” herself with one mate for life, that leaves her with over a century to live unable to properly do the only thing that truly fulfills her, even if she remarries after Picard’s death.

Maybe it’s just as well that she ends up with her arranged husband. At least she won’t be alone that way.
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Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 12:33am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Those calling for Kamala to discover whom she “really” is or taking moral umbrage at the nature of the arrangement featuring her are, in my view, demonstrating a staggering degree of ethical imperialism.

Yes, in our modern Western society, we tend to view personal independence as a moral ideal (for a relative rarity in the fullness of human history). But I would argue that all morality - all, mind - is ultimately reducible to the suffering and well-being of conscious creatures. Moral systems that (for example) claim to more highly emphasize the acquisition of justice, or obedience to God/gods, or any other axiomatic principle ahead of this one are really just deluding themselves. When you probe deeply enough, you find that concern for maximizing conscious well-being and minimizing conscious suffering is always the man behind Oz’s curtain.

So allow me to plug this into The Perfect Mate. Kamala makes it clear that what she’s doing isn’t a game, or a fantasy. She’s not ignoring her own interests and desires in order to please her partner - pleasing her partner IS her only interest and desire. To that end, she will become - not pretend to be - anything, because her truest fulfillment is found in being what a specific other person wants her to be. That is to say, as a conscious being capable of experiencing positive and negative conscious states, she genuinely maximizes her positive states and minimizes her negative ones when she feels that she has accomplished this singular goal.

Is it cruel (wrong) to whip a masochist? Not if they really do enjoy it. Is it benevolent (right) to gift a Buddhist monk a fortune in money? Not if they are actually happier living an ascetic lifestyle. We can allow for people who “don’t know what they are missing”, of course, and unwittingly cling to a miserable life because it’s what they know, not realizing that they are suffering more than they would if they experienced reality in a different way. But this is a fraught and potentially arrogant case to make in any specific circumstance, running the risk of unjustifiably claiming a role of superiority over another person as you assume that you know them better than they do.

When it comes to Kamala, it’s almost certainly doomed because we are given an alien creature who is genetically predisposed to reading her mate and fulfilling herself by fulfilling him. By her own admission, she is “incomplete” when alone. Keeping her away from what we might interpret as a one-sided romantic relationship is like keeping a fish away from water. You are just needlessly hurting a conscious being. It’s immoral.

To do this because you, as a fundamentally different kind of animal, have unilaterally decreed that your way is the best way and that Kamala and the fish are both wrong for failing to thrive in exactly the same kind of environment as you do? That borders on morally deranged.
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Fri, Jul 9, 2021, 3:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

@Ben D.

You make some very interesting points. It is true that Kevin was voluntarily living a full human life as a Federation citizen, so for better or worse he should ethically submit to the Federation’s code of laws out of respect for his “host” civilization. To his credit, it appears that he was prepared to do this, though of course we’d simply be out of luck if he decided otherwise.

I agree with you that Picard was not the appropriate person to decide whether Kevin should stand trial. On that point, however, I can only remind you that Picard assuming super-authority without apparent censure is a recurrent phenomenon on TNG. The example that most readily jumps to my mind at this moment (and there are many) would be in “Silicon Avatar”, when Picard makes a supplemental log entry mid-episode stating something to the effect of, “We’ve advised Starfleet of our intention to pursue the Crystalline Entity, and in response they’ve sent us Dr. Marr.” I do find it odd that Picard apparently gets to make unilateral decisions about where he’s going to take the Federation’s flagship and what he’s going to do with it when he gets there. Shouldn’t there be an entire roomful of Admirals somewhere on Earth who would like a say in the matter? But no, it would seem that Starfleet’s attitude is, “Oh, you want to go chasing a dangerously carnivorous alien life form on a mission that could easily result in the loss of an incalculably valuable piece of hardware and over 1,000 lives, many of them children? Sure, have Dr. Marr to help out!” But, that’s just Star Trek. It would be boring if Picard spent as much time talking to Starfleet Command as he realistically should.

Your backyard nuke analogy is intriguing, but if I may, I propose that it’s inaccurate or at least incomplete. I’m imagining that if you actually had such a weapon and wanted to use it, then you would need to log in to a computer somewhere, access targeting software that we certainly hope is protected by multiple long alphanumeric passwords, provide final launch confirmation, etc etc. There’s an important difference, there. You had to take several not-insignificant steps after witnessing your family tragedy to get to the point of committing your crime, giving you precious time to come to your senses. Heck, let’s just say you didn’t bother with any of the above precautions, and you have a literal Big Red Button in your living room - you would still have to consciously walk to it and hit it. Even the proverbial husband coming home early from work to find his wife in bed with his best friend has to take a moment to reach for and draw his gun. Kevin had no such privileges.

So here, in my view, is the more accurate analogue. You were born with that nuclear missile in your back yard, and as a baby you had a computerized control chip surgically implanted into your brain. If you but think the right (wrong) thought, backed by intent, the missile will immediately launch at any destination you will. Neither the missile nor the chip can ever be taken away, even if you’d like to be rid of them; they’re part of you.

So all your life, you’ve just had to be very careful with your emotions, and have probably learned some anger management techniques that would make Bruce Banner jealous. Because you know that if you ever get mad - really, mind-breakingly enraged - there is going to be a mushroom cloud.

Oh, and by the way, you’re immortal. You’ve been around for thousands of years (Kevin’s own stated timeline), and you have every reason to believe you’re going to go on for thousands, millions more. It’s worth wondering at what point you cease to be an ordinary citizen who may or may not commit a crime at some point (and should be held accountable if you do), and become a literal ticking time bomb, who will inevitably go off in the fullness of time. When you do, do you deserve scorn, or pity?

But put that question aside, because my real point is that it was trivially quick and easy for Kevin to do what he did - a fact which very much worked against him. He saw his wife’s dead body, knowing that her murderers were still in orbit actively destroying his home and slaughtering his friends and neighbors, and it only took a moment. I imagine he would have been glad to have had to work a computer to use his doomsday weapon; then the Husnock might still be alive.

He’s not so much a “space Hitler”. Hitler laid calm, methodical plans, and took years to accomplish what he did. Kevin didn’t, and I think we can agree that he wouldn’t.

So it’s just not at all clear to me that the Federation’s laws on genocide (assuming they do exist) can ethically be applied to this crime. The people who wrote those laws were thinking of Khan Singh, not Kevin Uxbridge. That’s why Picard was right to say that the Federation was unqualified to judge Kevin. No one within it really understood what he was facing. Yes, Picard should have sent a subspace message to the Federation’s Department of Justice, so the Attorney General could ask to be furnished with all relevant facts of the case and return a decision within 2 - 3 weeks. That didn’t happen, because it would have slowed down the story. But if it had, I think there’s every likelihood that the Federation would simply have “let” Kevin go.
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Thu, Jul 8, 2021, 5:54pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

I agree that the question of Rishon’s reality is unimportant to the plot and the drama of the story. It’s just that even when I first saw this episode, as a child, something felt vaguely wrong about Picard’s “you aren’t real” speech. Now that I’ve actually learned philosophy as an adult, I can see in detail how absurd it was, and it drives me up the wall. Rishon could have (and should have) absolutely demolished Picard for saying that to her, but of course it would have interrupted the rhythm of the scene, so I’ll just point out the existential bankruptcy of Picard’s argument and let that dog lie.

The issue of recreating the entire colony is, I think, a question without an answer, not least because it’s really a thread that - if pulled aggressively enough - threatens to unravel the entire plot. The fact that Kevin was able to wipe out a whole species with a thought means that there should have been any number of ways in which he could have non-lethally stopped the Husnock’s initial attack. He could have pulled a Thanos and turned all their weapons into bubbles. He could have messed up their computers so the “Fire” button just played Gilligan’s Island reruns on the viewscreen. Heck, entirely from what we saw him do in the episode, he could have filled the Husnock’s heads with max-volume Metallica and personally informed them that it was going to continue until they left orbit. Bottom line: The attack never should have been successful, in which case Kevin wouldn’t have been worrying about deceiving the Enterprise.

As for Kevin getting away with his crime, it’s been discussed upthread (as has the possibility of him stopping the attack, actually). Someone pointed out that if, instead of telling him to return to the surface, Picard had instructed him to go with them to a starbase or Earth or some location where he could face a criminal court and stand trial for genocide, Kevin probably would have gone. In all likelihood, he would even have willingly submitted to whatever sentence he was given, despite the fact that the court would of course have been unable to forcefully impose it upon him.

But to what end? To deter all the other super aliens who keep freaking out and erasing entire civilizations? It doesn’t seem to happen so often, and when it does I doubt most perpetrators would be so willing to bow to Federation justice. To rehabilitate Kevin? His was a total crime of passion that already went against his most deeply-held moral convictions; we may just have to accept that if we murder this guy’s wife, we’re in real trouble.

So, retribution? What good is that? It’s unclear whether the Federation has a death penalty on the books (sources are contradictory), but again, if they do I doubt it could be enforced even with Kevin’s full cooperation. That just leaves incarceration, but what’s 50, 75, 100 years in a penal colony to an immortal being?

Life sentence? The Federation’s life, you mean.

It’s pointless. Picard may have been mistaken when he said they had no law to fit Kevin’s crime (I certainly *hope* the Federation has laws against genocide…), but he was quite correct in saying that they were not qualified to be his judge. There simply was nothing more to be done.

I will say that annihilation of advanced starfaring species on an angry whim seems like the sort of thing that the Q might wish to crack down on, but that’s another matter entirely.
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Mon, Jul 5, 2021, 12:18pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

Would it really be an illusion, though? And why?

As a student of philosophy, my biggest complaint about this episode comes near the very end, when Picard is giving Rishon that insufferably condescending speech. “I can touch your skin, I can smell your perfume…but you are not real.” I was waiting for Rishon to indignantly respond, “Excuse me, I don’t know what point you’re trying to make, but I am indeed ‘real’, thank you! Now perhaps you can explain to me, wise sir, just how I am to be sure that YOU are real!” Of course, there’s no way to know whether she’s actually conscious - that is, having a subjective experience of reality (as opposed to being a philosophical zombie). But that’s the point - if she is, then she doesn’t know that Picard is conscious. And Picard should have the same suspicions about Riker…and Worf, and Troi, and…

But even putting solipsist concerns aside, just how real is Rishon? Was she a walking mannequin, a puppet with invisible strings whose every word and action were under Kevin’s direct control? Because if so, then I can’t imagine how the illusion was in any way satisfying for Kevin. If my wife died and I could reanimate her body, but I had to input every little thing she said and did and could never be surprised by her again, I wouldn’t feel like I had her back. Indeed, being in the presence of such a vapid facsimile would simply be painful - I would rather bury her and grieve.

Yet if Rishon had even a shred more autonomy than this - even a shred - then how is it fair to call her an illusion? I could be misremembering, as I don’t much care for the first season, but wasn’t there an episode therein in which Q murders Tasha Yar, then brings her back to life after his point is made? Was she an “illusion” for every moment between that resurrection and Skin of Evil? And didn’t Q once boast in Qpid that he had given his fantasy world a life of its own, so that even he would be surprised by his characters’ actions? Those characters disappeared once Q was finished playing that game, but I don’t see how we can regard that as anything but an atrocity: Q created living people, then slaughtered them when he was done exploiting them. Were they “illusions”?

These scenarios with Q really make the absurdity of Picard’s attitude toward Rishon stand out with the greatest starkness, to me. She “wasn’t real” because a Trek super-alien cancelled her death? Really, Picard? Why didn’t Tasha ever have to endure that speech?
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Sun, Jul 4, 2021, 2:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Hoooo boy, this one. I once knew a hardcore fundamentalist Christian who angrily swore off all Star Trek, for all time, when he first saw this episode and got to Picard’s “dark ages of fear and superstition” speech.

This lasted until he eventually deconverted and became an atheist, years later. He’s now embarrassed by his religious days, and in fact feels traumatized by the experience. Says he used to live in fear of burning for eternity after death. That “heaven and hell” stuff ain’t for everyone.
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Sun, Jul 4, 2021, 1:53pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar


Normally I would agree, but if you notice, the writers actually foreshadowed this action earlier in the episode. When Dr Marr is working on a computer in Engineering with great speed, Geordi observes, “You handle that terminal like a veteran, Doctor.” She replies, “One thing about spending your life doing research: You learn your way around computers.”

She had been studying the CE since Omicron Theta, and had been a scientist for even longer. She was probably a computer expert, likely more so than many members of the crew.

And she didn’t “take over the Enterprise”. I certainly hope that would have been beyond her power. What she did was find a way to lock the others out of a particular program - one which she had helped create. And even then Geordi STILL said he could defeat her lockout; he just needed more time than they had.
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Mon, Jun 28, 2021, 1:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Allegiance

I’m going to be honest, I felt bad for the abductor aliens at the end of this episode. Picard (briefly) tortured them in retribution for their actions, though they made it clear that they were conducting sociological research and were genuinely unaware that their methods would be considered inappropriate. Philosophically, I also disagree with Picard’s assertion that imprisonment itself qualifies as an “injury”. An inconvenience, yes; a violation, perhaps. But an injury per se? I can’t get behind that.

My sympathy for the aliens was further bolstered, I think, by the fact that they immediately came clean and explained themselves as soon as Picard ruined the experiment by identifying their plant. They could have just dumped or even killed the prisoners at that point as useless lab rats, but instead took the time to engage and clarify that they were merely curious about something they didn’t understand.

Now, I’m not saying I approve of nor encourage their methods. I don’t even approve of using “lower” animals for scientific research. I just think some understanding was in order given that they seemed genuinely perplexed by Picard’s negative reaction - that is, again, they didn’t realize their actions would be upsetting. Picard could have said, “You have disrupted operations on my ship and aggrieved me personally. I have encountered many species, and I know of none who would not take offense to such treatment. Please reconsider your means of research. In fact, if you wanted knowledge, all you had to do was ask. Perhaps you would be interested in perusing our ship’s computer database on concepts of authority, while sharing information about your people with us?” Instead, he jumps straight to confrontation and bridge-burning with what seems to be a very unique new civilization. So much for the Enterprise’s “continuing mission”!

Picard’s behavior here wasn’t even consistent with his later handling of a similar situation in season 7’s “Liaisons”. In that one, an alien ambassador from a species who didn’t understand love amongst other emotional concepts actually stranded Picard on a barely-habitable planet with dangerous storm activity and pretended to be a lovestruck young woman. When Picard got the big reveal after all of that trouble, sure he was upset, but he remained reserved and diplomatic. He realized that the ambassador didn’t know how such methods would be received, and his reaction was basically, “Humans would have handled this differently,” and “Just so you know, where I’m from, what you’ve done would be considered a crime”. Only to then discover that the aliens didn’t understand the concept of “crime” either, prompting yet further patience from Picard.

It seems obvious, but you’ve got to be willing to extend a powerful heap of benefit of the doubt to aliens with fundamentally different practices. Generally Picard is pretty good about that, but not this time.
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Tue, Jun 22, 2021, 9:27pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The Hunted

Some commenters were saying that Picard heartlessly left the Angosians in a standoff that they couldn’t possibly win, and that there would be bloodshed if they didn’t just surrender fully. But that isn’t true. Remember that the soldiers were programmed to only use violence in self-defense - Picard stayed peaceful, and they were rendered impotent.

I like to imagine the standoff stretching long into the night, with Danar and the Angosian Prime Minister staring uneasily at each other with their people behind them.

Danar: Are you going to free us from the colony and let us come home?

Prime Minister: We can’t, you’re dangerous. Are you going to kill us all?

Danar: We can’t, you aren’t threatening us.

*uneasy staring contest continues*

Danar: So…um…Monopoly?

Prime Minister: *tersely* I’ll get the board.
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Mon, Jun 21, 2021, 3:59pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

“It’ll take time to rebuild your memory, Geordi. A long time. Possibly even a whole week. But no longer than that. Because you’ve got to be 100% back to normal and on-duty as Chief Engineer of the flagship, despite being homicidally hypnotized by Romulans, before the next episode. So let’s get cracking, hmm?”

I kid, I kid. I understand TNG’s episodic nature, even if it does get a little silly at times.

My only real critique of this otherwise brilliant episode is a minor one, mentioned previously by another commenter: Governor Vagh was entirely too certain of Federation collusion with the rebels, with his only evidence at first being the presence of Federation weapons in rebel hands. Ok…and there’s no way that profiteers on the black market illicitly acquired these weapons and sold them to the highest bidder? Picard even mentions this possibility, yet Vagh is unconvinced. Even in the face of findings implicating Romulans in the sort of scheme precisely they are known for! What does this guy have against the Federation?

But again, not a huge point. And a very compelling story otherwise.
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Sun, Jun 20, 2021, 2:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Maybe we don’t need to use the word “rape” to describe what happened to Riker. I do feel the word gets overused, marginalizing the experiences of people who have lived through truly horrific things. But if we acknowledge the fact that we would be appalled if Lanel had been male, and it had been Troi or Crusher in Riker’s place, then I really don’t think we get to see comedy gold in the hospital sex scene.

Really, what is the argument here? That “men and women are different”? Agreed - but are they so different that it’s a bona fide knee-slapper when one of them is sexually coerced, while we turn into righteously outraged paladins the moment that the Same Exact Thing happens to the other?

Don’t get me wrong. If we’re prepared to laugh just as hard at a clearly uncomfortable woman reluctantly agreeing to surrender her body because it’s been presented to her as her only hope of escaping imprisonment, then we’re fine. I won’t even judge if we do that - I’m the guy who cracks Holocaust jokes at parties, and I’m Jewish! I’m just saying that maintaining such a stark double standard on sexual coercion doesn’t give us a philosophically consistent leg to stand on.
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Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 3:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

There's a fairly simple social rule:

Don't use slurs for minorities or subordinated groups to which you do not belong. Even if you think your intentions are good.

Spaces that allow the breaking of this rule inherently create a hostile environment for the groups targeted. They also become hostile to other groups who know they could be targeted next.

The appropriate people for enforcing that rule are the owners or managers of the space. Leaving the response to those targeted, along with condoning an environment where alerting the appropriate person is labeled as "immature," "childish," or "crying to the mod," is functionally nearly identical to saying that slurs are allowed.

Booming was told that the term was a slur and responded by rebuffing requests not to use it or slurs in general.

When he sees this conversation, Jammer is going to have some decisions, probably to his aggravation, about what kind of ship he is running here.
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Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 12:40am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal


Booming has doubled down on his decision to use slurs in this forum.

This is not a conversation for me or other visitors to have with him further, but for the owner of the forum to act on appropriately.

I know that managing this site, especially when you added comments, is a lot of work for you. Thank you for doing it!
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Mon, Dec 28, 2020, 3:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal


I did see the context in which you used the slur.

Do you believe that White people may mock racist attitudes of other Whites by referring to their distress at the n-word on DS9?

If you are as supportive of the trans community as you claim, don't use slurs, even when your intentions are good.
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Mon, Dec 28, 2020, 11:42am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal


Above, Booming used a slur for transgender people. The "t___ in Star Trek." I hope you will respond as you would with use of a slur for other groups.
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Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 10:41am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

"Should I embrace a TV industry that routinely, deliberately and blatantly exclude characters on the basis of gender and race politics? Well, I don't know, Drea. Maybe you can tell me: Should I?"

Pardon, are you implying that the TV industry routinely, deliberately and blatantly excludes straight White cis men?

Buh-whuh... fuh... nuh...

Ha ha ha ha!

That deserves laughter, and nothing more.

Pardon, I generally prefer more constructive dialogue. However, it's clear that certain quarters here are simply going to double down and dig themselves an ever-deeper hole.

A decrease in your hegemony does not mean that you are now oppressed.
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Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 11:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying


So you want the show to include a sympathetic and significant straight White cis male role.

Does the show contain sympathetic and significant trans Latina lesbian?

Does the show contain a sympathetic and significant Australian Aboriginal gay cis man?

Does the show contain a sympathetic and significant asexual Chinese agender person?

The show contains a sympathetic White cis man. Most of the cast is straight. Most of the cast is cis. A lot is White. Each of these traits that you share belong to characters with positive representation.

That you think that any given show ought to contain a positive representation not simply of people with traits you share, which Discovery does, but of your specific combination of them is mired in the way you've gotten this for the entire history of film and have been able to take it for granted.

For people who do not share that privilege, it has been historic to see characters with even one of their traits receiving positive representation.

Every single Star Trek series other than this one has delivered someone just like you--multiple someones. Most people are not getting someone just like them. Many never have. It's just that, for the first time, a cast is diverse enough that you also aren't.
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Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 7:51pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

@Booming asked some good questions about how Utopian sci fi would deal with trans representation, given that trans people often simply want to go about their lives without their transness becoming an issue.

The best answer, I think, would be just to have a trans actor playing a trans character. Somewhere after we've known the character a while, it comes up in passing, then we barely ever hear about it again.

If Adira turns out to be non-binary but closeted, this can make sense because they come from an Earth that's now post-Federation and not Utopian. It didn't come across as if Earth had regressed quite that badly, but it works.

I'll be annoyed if they're non-binary as a result of their Trill past lives though. Jadzia and Ezri were women prior to and after their acquiring the memories of men, and there's no reason that the (possible) first non-binary human on the show should only become that way due to an alien symbiont.
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Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 10:52pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1


The first hour set up the premise of rebuilding a lost interstellar utopia less effectively than the Andromeda premiere, which was only so-so to begin with.

First, the decision to make the cause of Federation's fall a mystery dilutes the show's ability to deal with social or political themes. Instead of reunifying a galaxy's political divisions, we're faced with dilithium exploding. Uninteresting.

Second, we don't have good enough cause to believe that the galaxy is that much worse off. This was a problem in Andromeda too. We learn that endangered species aren't protected anymore, but we've never had any indication that most of the galaxy did this anyway. What is in the Federation's place? How much of it is worse?

Third, why one earth did we initiate this mission around Michael, a random last sentry, and Book, who's not a believer? Why would we introduce this future without the crew, and not show them reaching the decision that the Federation could and should be rebuilt?

Fourth, a dull action story about an alien marketplace that could have existed in any Trek era does a poor job of introducing anything at all about this future.

Who knows? Maybe it will be good after all. Lower Decks certainly surprised me.
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Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 11:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Data sang this song at Riker and Troi's wedding in Star Trek Nemesis, the last time the crew gathered before Data's death. B4 sang a line of it at the end of the movie, which gave Picard hope that some part of his friend lived on. That's why it echoes through Picard's dreams of Data.

Data would also remember the song as the last thing he performed for the crew, since these memories went into B4. Picard would know this and inform Soji.

It's not a meta point at all. It's dramatically extremely poignant. But the show doesn't connect the dots for the audience. Then again, maybe it would be pretty laborious to explain all that if you're not an avid Trek fan with the whole series and movies memorized. If you're in on it, it means something, and if you're not, it's just a pretty song.
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Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 9:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Soji sang her father to sleep.

Isa Briones sang that cover of "Blue Skies." Soji's gathered along with Jurati and Soong when Picard euthanizes Data. Data starts this specific record playing before he lies down: the music is diegetic. And it's Soji's voice.

Soji recorded it for her father to hear in his death.

That gorgeous detail gets the show forgiven for not showing us, the viewers, a dialogue between Data and Soji. It also implies that Data's existed in a place where others can't visit him directly, and where Picard only could briefly because of the unprecedented circumstance of a mind transferred into the simulation for the short term. Messages can go in, but not out, or else Data would have requested euthanasia earlier. It's a bit underwritten, but it's the interpretation that's most consistent with the rest of the story.

But think of it: this gentle being who had wanted to parent, who lost his only child and did not want to risk having another if she would die the same way, gets to hear his daughter sing him to peace.

It's really, genuinely lovely.
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Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Well, that was fun! Not classic, but fun, and it sets us up for Star Trek: Firefly.

Where even are they setting course to in the end? Second star to the right, and straight on till morning? This crew deciding to stay together feels underwritten. Who's funding them now?

We get a true TNG ending, but not before some of the bad guys have crept in. Truthfully, I hope the writers forget about them and maybe spend one episode resolving them at most. I'm much more interested in the Romulan refugee crisis or other political or moral questions than in evil AI eels from another dimension.

It's weird that the so-called uber-synths need our side to hold the door open, but whatever.

It's weird that Jurati et al didn't tell Picard's friends that he's actually fine, but whatever.

It's weird that... look, a lot of things are weird here. And most of them amount to "meh" because the basic premises of the story hold together even if some details need smoothing. This far outstrips Discovery's first season and slightly beats its second.

I cried at the scenes at the end with Data. TNG, and not Picard, earned most of that, but after the failure to treat Data's death with emotional impact in Nemesis, it's good to see it given the weight it deserves here.

Three stars for the finale, and three stars for the season. Both barely--but if I think about whether I'd tell my Trek-fan friends to watch the show, the answer is definitely yes, and that feels like the metric for a three-star rating for me.
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Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 1:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ William Wehrs

"Do you see the storm?"

Bahahahaha love this.

In-universe, we can suppose that they built a weathernet between Soji's construction and now. That's definitely cleaning up after the writers though, who clearly should've devoted at least a line to how much the place has changed from Soji's memory.
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