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Tue, Jul 17, 2018, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

The legal saying goes, "Justice delayed is justice denied." So is Justice watched.
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Gul Densho-Ar
Mon, Jul 16, 2018, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

Loved this episode. Thankfully, I seem to have missed the "Dr. Crusher disappearing" hint in the beginning the first time. Found it excitingly mysterious and creepy before getting an idea of wtf was going on. Those conversations about people that never existed were chilling.

Watching it again, I dislike the oh-so-deep Traveller BS. But still a great episode.
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Sat, Jul 14, 2018, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

This episode made me realize how much annoying Beltran's voice is..
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Gul Densho-Ar
Sat, Jul 14, 2018, 8:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

This is one of those episodes that leave me puzzled about where the high ratings are coming from.

Fajo's over-the-top cartoon behaviour is something I expect in a SpongeBob episode and don't appreciate in Star Trek. That he turns out to be pretty evil doesn't change anything, I don't understand why that would make everything different.

How Varria quickly reveals to Data that Fajo once severely punished her for disloyalty is just too cheap and convenient for decent story development.

Also, we're back to TOS style costume/effects work. That guy who Fajo shows Data just looks stupid, as does that last-of-its-kind space lizard insect whatever thing.

Then of course Picard and Data acting out of character. Picard is bemusingly insistent on leaving it all behind and not wasting more time investigating the incident, and Data of course attempting to murder an unarmed man (and then lying about it).

Now I'm all for learning a different side to characters if it's well told and to some extent understandable. Here it's just random, implausible, unexplained, and forgotten afterwards in best VOY fashion (like Janeway's attempt to murder a prisoner). Apparently this was the writer's first Star Trek story, maybe that's why she messed with well-established characters.

And finally, reading one sentence of Shakespeare doesn't make your show smart. But to be fair, that's a general issue in Star Trek, and TNG in particular.
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Fri, Jul 13, 2018, 9:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rules of Acquisition

You need to come to Sweden, DLPB. We are very liberal and our progressive and labor movements managed to fight for about half a year paternity leave for men, and the labor movements won this in the 1970s before this was even an issue on the radars of most other nations (I think Clinton won this for you in America, after decades of the Republicans shooting it down). We also have the most generous parental leave packages (currently 480 tax-funded days to share between a couple) and heavily subsidized day care in the world.

Sweden is very dark, especially in winter, and this leads to lots of suicide, so we do lots of studies on it (we are now lower than the European average though). One science report (the abstract quoted here) on this I found fascinating: "Women are twice as likely as men to experience major depression, yet women are one fourth as likely as men to take their own lives. Men have been socialized to value independence and decisiveness, and they regard acknowledging a need for help as weakness and avoid it. Women, in contrast, value interdependence, and they consult friends and readily accept help. Women consider decisions in a relationship context, taking many things into consideration, and they feel freer to change their minds. It has been found that women derive strength and protection from suicide by virtue of specific differences from men. Factors that protect women from suicide are opposite to vulnerability factors in men."

In other words, the very gendered notions of rugged individualism and stoic masculinity inculcated in males is leading to higher susceptibility to suicide. Some studies showed that simply talking about feelings had a bigger effect on countering male suicide than implementing lots and lots of sun lamps (because of the darkness in winter months).
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Dan Bolger
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

This is quite a funny and different episode. Some of the ferenghi storylines can be grating and a bit too goofily silly. But the late 1940's earth setting and lack of ds9 placed environments is a fresh change for 45 minutes. it's better than some of the other comedy tinted episodes. Quark is often a great character and well acted by admin shimmerman.
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Steve McCullagh
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 8:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

Two stars is exceedingly generous for this one; it's so bad that before I did a full TOS rewatch last year I actually misremembered it being a season three episode 😁

Just awful. One of the all time worst episodes to me.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

This is one where I diverge from probably most posters here, as I always - since day one of its airing - thought it was annoying at best. It continues the trend of Doc being treated as sentient and yet acting less and less in a way that interests me as a viewer. I'm supposed to find him an intriguing character to watch on a weekly basis when his activities include maligning his crew with a ridiculous story and then playing dumb like a con man? It's like watching Living Witness but in bizarro world, where the Doc is dead-set on making the Voyager crew look terrible. Is that how far the character is supposed to have come in these years? How petty. For how it plays I'd rate the episode lowly, but for the pure betrayal factor it makes the episode actively aggravating, and so deserves zero.
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Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

"medical bureaucracy"?
You mean "medical inequality", right?
We have an ethical issue here, an ethical choice not just bad organization.
Should the strong and wealthy keep being in favor of the society?
Should healthcare be equal for everyone?
I see it as as an allegory for the US medical system and I am not even American.

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Tue, Jul 10, 2018, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

I keep forgetting this episode as I rewatch the series--and yet it could have been SO good--IF they'd spent most of it with the characters struggling to come to terms with the idea that they could be so easily turned evil. Instead, that's the last three minutes and it's not even a question.
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Tue, Jul 10, 2018, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

Jammer I'm not sure if you'll ever read my comment but from reading your review I see an unanswered question and as a Biologist I can help!

The act of sweating is one that reduces your body temperature, through the fact that hot energetic molecules composed of mostly water evaporate off of your skin. Trip misspoke slightly with his statement. It's true by not sweating your body would retain more water, hence you would become dehydrated slower. However by not sweating you also retain more heat within your body. As your internal body temperature rises biological catalysts called enzymes begin to work more slowly and eventually stop altogether without these enzymes our body simply can't function and we would die as all process would happen to slowly. So yes Trip is correct he is struggling more becuase he can't sweat but not because he is dehydrating faster but becuase his internal body temperature is rising quicker than Trip's as he can't release any heat through sweating.

I hope that makes sense!! If not I can explain further
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Peter G.
Sun, Jul 8, 2018, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

Normally I don't want to feed the trolls, and I hate censorship. But I think I'm ready to request board moderation about repeated pederasty comments that aren't even applicable to what's on screen. I wouldn't have a problem with someone expressing a sexual desire that I don't share if it was just their personal viewpoint, but this is reading instead as perverse sexual fan-fic and this isn't a fan-fic board (that I know of). Sorry to have to go there, and I will understand if my petition is rejected.
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Sat, Jul 7, 2018, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Blink of an Eye

One of the best Star Trek episodes. Ever.
I think it could make a great Star Trek (Tv) movie, an extended version with more time devoted to the planet's progress and Doc's visit.
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Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

I would love to be a fly in the studios's walls while Jeri Ryan was trying to memorize her pages. Her MANY pages. If actors get paid by the words, she must had made a small fortune for this episode.
And this is the only thing this episode left me.

wow Jeri.. just wow!
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Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

I am re-watching STVOY for the first time since 2003. 15 years after and still this is an amazingly funny episode.
Last chance to be a hero Doctor, get going!
Just love it!
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Rahul,

"Regarding the ratings -- I think a 2.5* episode is a decent outing -- and will definitely have some strong points, which are worth highlighting (as this one has). But such episodes don't strike me as great (3* and higher). They either aren't ambitious enough or have some flaws (perhaps too much suspension of disbelief, poor premise/writing/acting etc.) I don't think I'd have too many "excellent" comments for a 2* episode as it is largely bordering on mediocrity with enough flaws creeping in and I'm sure I'd have enough criticisms leveled at it."

I was just curious to know what your system translated to in terms of "good", "decent", "very good" and so forth. If *** to you is "great" then that's not what I would have expected but it makes me understand your various ratings much better. In that case I can see giving this one a rating just shy of 'great', as it is.

For my part I don't usually think in terms of ratings but using the 'Jammer scale' I usually think of less than *** as meaning it's not such a good ep at all, although it may have some positive points.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Rahul,

"One thing I don't get is why Worf would go to such great extent to help Quark impress Grilka. Worf can barely tolerate the Ferengi and just because of his beaten down status can't court Grilka -- seems quite forced to me that he should go to extraordinary lengths to help Quark. But I think a good point is made about Worf's inability to court a Klingon woman. When has he really done it? K'Ehleyr from TNG was different. So maybe that's his motivation here. "

It's pretty much stated outright in one scene by Worf "So I don't know about Klingon women, eh?" Once he knows there's no chance with her the rest in an ego trip to prove he had what it took. And that fits in perfectly with what Dax tells him later on, that he's thinking of a woman of being a statue on a pedestal rather than a real person right in front of him. He doesn't even want Grilka, not really; he wants the idea of her. While in the meantime he doesn't even notice someone right in front of him who's desirable but not what he pictured in his head. And this isn't some kind of "best friend" scenario where he just doesn't see Dax that way - actually he sort of does! In an early episode she tells him a joke in Klingon, which he agrees with, which translates to the fact that she's good looking. So really his problem wasn't that he didn't see her, but rather that he didn't understand that a woman isn't an object to win but someone to actually care about. And although the Klingons talk a good game about 'winning' a woman the reality is always a bit less dramatic than that.

Incidentally, Rahul, I guess I'll just observe that I've noticed a number of times where every comment in a review of yours is an item of praise, often using words like "great" or "excellent", and after seemingly reflecting glowingly on the episode the final rating is ** or **1/2. Any reason why the final rating is sometimes so harsh compared with the things that struck you as being successful about the ep?
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

One thing the candle issue has brought to my attention is Joseph's punishment for stealing a single candle. Not only does it seem like Alixus has allocated resources unequally and deliberately keeps down 'the poor' with punishment, but there's more: his punishment is extremely harsh, and I always took it for granted that the colony simply used draconian punishment for crime of any magnitude. But what if he stole the candle *from Alixus* specifically? And - reaching a little bit - what if he stole it from her out of spite rather than need, as a form of rebellion? It could be interpreted as showing that some of them had a problem with her even before Sisko showed up. The severity of the punishment would be a bit more understandable if seen as being her revenge against someone who stood up to her in some form.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Sorry, mid-2nd paragraph should read "It doesn't require showing she's 'more equal than others'..."
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

@ William B,

"No mention of a huge number of candles, and the stage direction seems to suggest the opposite interpretation -- that Alixus is the Real Deal, that she *does* hold herself to the same standards as everyone else, etc."

It's an interesting observation but when creating a show design you'll rarely stick to what's literally on the printed page. Unless the director is already the writer, or in some cases where the writing is *extremely* meticulous and precise (like a David Mamet script), it's the director's job to realize the script and covert it from an idea into a reality. Adding something not in the script is ideally a means of enhancing what's there, although you're right that in principle directing with a poor script could involve going against the writer's intentions.

In this case, however, I find it essentially inconceivable that the writer intended for Alixus to be the 'real deal' and legitimately respectable within the confines of her own philosophy. She whored out one of her own people to Sisko, engaged in torture, and lied to everyone about the reason for them being there. It doesn't showing she's'more equal than others' (to quote Orwell) to show that she's a villain. I don't disagree that it's a nice directoral touch, however I scarcely think that she would magically come out looking good if she was seen to be working to the light of one meagre candle. Being willing to make things crappy for yourself doesn't somehow smooth over treating others like slaves. In terms of simplicity, though,I frankly don't think it was necessary for her to be portrayed as Napolean from Animal Farm to demonstrate how morally bankrupt she was.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

@ Chrome et al.

"That said, I do agree that Sisko's message should've benefited someone on the planet more than this episode shows. In the end, the gesture is more for the audience's benefit. Sisko is a hero to us because of his actions, but he's not really a hero to this village, at least, not from their point of view."

I still think this general interpretation hinges on the premise that it was a cult, which by our usage implies "baaaaad!" But I'm 99.9% sure what the writers intended was to show that Alixus was correct in her philosophy even though she was personally corrupt and a megalomaniac. I think the takeaway isn't that the colonist were brainwashed or stupid, because then Jacob's statements become meaningless - and that's not how the acting and directing portrayed the ending scene. Rather, the takeaway is supposed to be that it's quite true that something of primal living has been lost in the Federation's sterile and cushy life, *but* that it also isn't reasonably possible to get it back. And it may even be implied that the trade-off is worth it (but this point is perhaps more controversial and should have been addressed more in the episode). Alixus' mistake was in *insisting* on getting back the more primal way of life despite the fact that in a technological future it's very hard to find a way to implement that in practice. Who would sit idly by a let a child die when a comm unit could summon a medical ship? Probably very few would want to do that, and yet that doesn't mean Alixus is wrong that on an every-day basis the life the colonist were leading wasn't better than what they had before. I believe they're being quite honest when they say they prefer the simple life on this planet. I don't see the need to cynically reject this element of the episode and over-focus on Alixus' faults. Yes, she was bad, but that doesn't mean that her intellectual observations are therefore bogus.

The ending isn't supposed to be about Sisko saving anyone from living a horrible life, and so the lack of anyone being "saved" isn't a flaw. The point is that Sisko helped them to remove a tyrant who was controlling them. The benefit to them is obvious, and I'm sure they're grateful for his help. That doesn't mean they have to give up everything they believe in to prove it.
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Wed, Jul 4, 2018, 12:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@William B, ah! How about that! Hello! :)
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Cesar Gonzalez
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

Completely disagree.

Love this episode.
4 Stars for me
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Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Wow. I'm rewatching after not seeing TNG since it first aired. This ep was memorable enough that I remembered it - the basics anyhow.

I was surprised to read all the controversy.

My thoughts:

Great ep. Beautifully done in all particulars. Stewart is absolutely at his best. Amazing.

I don't think the choice of Picard was random. I had the impression the probe was able to be picky. It may have passed on other opportunities, who knows, but I don't think it zeroed in on Picard because he happened to be standing in that spot.

I also suspect there was some sort of failsafe, should the choice prove untenable. If the person was suffering, unable to adapt our enjoy, he could be released.

I also assume the experience was tailored to some extent, to the wishes - conscious and subconscious -- of the chosen one.

So I don't see this as a horrible mind rape, but rather as an abduction in the hope of giving someone the great gift of sharing their world. It worked because Picard wanted it. I don't think it would have worked otherwise.

That Picard greatly loved and enjoyed his life on Kataan is made clear. This is no coincidence. This isn't luck. This is part of the plan.

Yes, there are the usual sci-fi issues that require some suspension of disbelief, but nothing unusual there.

Anyhow, I've no moral problem with this. The feel of it, the clues in the dialog, all tell me that in many ways Picard shaped his own experience, and he remained there because he wanted to stay.

Stewart's acting during the reveal is absolute perfection.

That's enough for now.

And William B, you don't happen to be the same William B that I used to discuss Buffy eps with, are you?
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Peter G.
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

I had a thought just now about Riker's insubordination. I do believe he was out of line, however I think I'd failed to take something into account before when considering how he played his position. James04 brought it to my attention when mentioning Riker's "offhand" manner when Jellico came to his quarters, almost as if he wasn't paying due respect to a Captain.

The thing is, Riker should have been a Captain multiple times over. He saved the Federation single-handed and everyone knows it. The *only* reason he doesn't have the rank of Captain is that he knows he'd rather serve under Picard than command his own ship. But that doesn't mean he'd rather serve under just anyone. When back when he had the decision to make to accept one or more commands, if the Federation had told Riker that if he stayed as XO on the Enterprise it would be under Jellico I'm sure he'd have accepted his own command. So losing Picard here isn't just a father-issue thing. It's the fact that Riker by all accounts *basically is* a Captain except in name, and that's only because there's no realistic way he could have been promoted to Captain but remained on Picard's crew. Starfleet just doesn't work like that (or at least not anymore, since Kirk seemed to be surrounded by Captains by the time the films wrapped up).

So maybe Riker's behavior is a *little* more warranted than I had thought. After all, it's ridiculous to treat him as if he's a lowly whipping boy when he has all the accreditation, experience, and command understanding that a Captain has, and the skills to boot, as well as respect far and wide (even from the likes of Shelby). Treating him like just another XO to boss around is completely within Jellico's prerogative, except that Riker is uniquely exceptional. There isn't likely to be another Commander in Starfleet with his resume and accomplishments. Jellico may be right not to like him or want him as his XO. Frankly he shouldn't be anyone's XO, he should be a Captain, and it's silly (objectively speaking) that he isn't. So here we have a bit of a rock and a hard place, where a Commander who 'deserves' to be treated like a Captain is faced with a Captain who frankly doesn't give a damn and needs people who will obey orders swiftly and without objection. In a way RIker is right to demand the respect that he deserves, and to owe subservience as such only to Picard. On the other hand that's not how the chain of command works, and there's no room in the command structure for people to have 'unofficial rank'.

The more I think of it the more this feels like an ill-fated pairing rather than anyone being totally wrong. I still think Riker is more wrong, and overall find little to no fault in Jellico, but looking at the series as a whole it doesn't feel like Riker is so off-base as I had previously thought,
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