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Hank
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Omicron: Wow, didn't even notice that I wrote Orwell instead of Wells... Pretty big brainfart...

@Alan Roi: That reply was weak sauce. Also, I said "To the Federation, Burnham is literally Hitler", regarding her importance as a criminal actor, being the first mutineer, starting a war, etc. Which is obviously hyperbole, but ... since you didn't read, I won't bother anymore.

@Booming: Yes, the Federation is not really an authoritarian regime. But we don't learn very much about their inner workings, so we can not really say either way. However, everything we see makes them out to be either stupid or evil, abandoning principles at every turn while still being self-congratulatory about it. I mean, the whole Klingon War could have been averted if they just left the scene. Sure, T'Kuvma could still try to gain the support of the council by attacking some Federation outpost, but I don't see them rallying around him when the Federation backs down and he is the agressor. The whole point of the Battle of the Binary Stars was that it happened right by their ancient beacon, remove that context and T'kuvma is just a fringe extremist. T'Kuvmas point was that the Federation was expansionist, and the Federation proved him right by occupying Klingon space (even though unbeknownst to them) and sending a massive fleet to reinforce Discovery... Really, that whole stand-off was over nothing. We have seen the Federation time and time again choosing very carefully which Hill to die upon, even abandoning people for the sake of peace (that whole Cardassian Border debacle) to an expansionist regime, but now, somehow, that system in the middle of nowhere is important enough to go to war over?
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Hank
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Alan Roi: "Also, the robots showed up last year, when the Discovery was repainted to appear like an ISS ship, but since most detractors of this show don't pay attention, its not suprising that they think they just appeared this ep. I, however, have a good memory."

Wow, aren't you just great? Jeez, man, I am awestruck by your awesomeness. Sure, you are not calling anybody stupid - just suffering from amnesia... And in all your small triumphs of justifying things you completely miss the big picture.

Regarding Verne and Orwell: You missed my point, though. I understood what you tried to convey, no elucidating necessary. Star Trek is mostly Orwellian, in that sense, anyways: It always explores the human condition, the techno-babble is just the lense through which it is viewed. But if you introduce some scientific concept, and that concept is based on real world stuff, but gets it all wrong, thats still a problem in an Orwellian type of sci-fi story.

Which leads me to my main point: You think that we do not understand Discovery because we are 1.) not paying close attention and 2.) pay too much attention to how things work instead of what they mean, which is utterly ridiculous, given that Star Trek always was about "what it all means".

"As I have pointed out many times, if people pay closer attention to the show they will be rewarded."

No they will not be. Just look at Trents observations a few posts above. Explain those, please. Or why Discovery didn't jump far enough away to charge their crystal in peace. You suggested earlier that there must be a hidden meaning behind all that, that there is a reason for Discovery to stay so close. Well, yes, there is, we need Discovery to be there so that the Big Fight can happen. But in Universe there is no reason. Disovery can jump away, charge its crystal, and, if it so pleases, then just jump back to confront control, or lure it in. There is no reason to so drastically endanger your plan that hinges on being able to jump to the future when you have magic tech at your disposal. And they didn't know that the Klingons would show up in the last moment. They didn't call in reinforcements beyond Enterprise, they didn't try to lure Control in to a trap or anything, they just sat there. Have fun trying to explain that with character motivation.

In episode three we have a prison shuttle with one guard, flying alone in deep space, and that guard leaves the shuttle and instantly dies, because there is a space storm outside. Never mind that there are no storms like that in space, that you would never have only one guard on a prisoner transport ever, or that you would not use a shuttlecraft to ferry prisoners between far away points because shuttles are slow, but how did me paying attention in any way reward me with a better experience? That whole sequence was just there so that Discovery can pick up Michael. Thats it. They needed the shuttle to have an emergency, so that they would send a distress call, and they needed the guards to be gone, so that they would not look after the prisoners on board Discovery, so that Lorca can do his shenanigans, because as we later learn, he planned to abduct Michael all along because he is the evil space wizard. So the writers went with the most obvious and most visually spectacular option to achieve that end goal: Have a space storm (because ships sink in storms, space ships sink in space storms), and have only one guard on board that commits suicide. Problem solved.

The problems begin even further back, though, because why would Star Fleet not ask what happend with Michael? She was, after all, the very first mutineer, charged with starting a war. She is, in universe, literally Hitler, as far as Star Fleet is concerned. Even the other prisoners despise her. And then nobody cares that Lorca does not send her to prison but instead makes her his defacto first officer? It's the same problem as before: The writers need Michael to be an outcast, thus, she is made out to be the worst person ever. But the writers also need her to be the main character on board a military vessel, so they ignore their previous story and just put her there. This is all a problem of excess. Everything has to be over the top. It would have been sufficient to have Michael do something that was technically correct but very harmful to many people. She is put in front of a military tribunal, and they find her innocent. But she is still known as "Michael the Killer" or something because her actions caused the death of many people, and everybody despises her. She herself is completely guilt-ridden, because what seemed like the logical choice turned out to be horrible in hindsight. (Heck, it could be something simple like her shooting Georgiou accidentally while they try to capture T'Kuvma, and she then retreats without capturing him and he is later killed when Federation reinforcements show up, completely eliminating the stupid scene where she sets her phaser to kill intentionally despite her previous objections, and yes I know, heat of the moment and all that, but that has been discused to death already) Then Lorca comes along. He already leads a black-ops ship full of shady people, who are ruthless but efficient, and he wants to have Michael Burnham. Star Fleet agrees, and she is send to the Discovery.

Now, the story does make sense and follows the exact same beats as before, but does not require you to not think about it. You do not have a prison guard so incompetent as to get (her?)self killed in the space of five minutes of screen-time. You do not send your most closely guarded prisoner with a completely inadequate shuttle, if only for the reason to save her from retribution by over-zealous Star Fleet personel.

Or what about the scene where that security chief, i forgot her name, lowers the force field and instantly gets mauled by the tardigrade? I mean, sure, over confidence is a thing, but ... thats just outright stupidity. They KNOW that phasers to not hurt that thing and they KNOW what it did to the Klingons because they SAW it earlier... but sure, just go on in... So maybe I didn't pay enough attention when it was established that she is so utterly overconfident and self absorbed that she completely ignores reality around her. But even if you could successfully make that point, you are still missing the forest for the trees. That whole scene is completely stupid. If she is so incompetent, she would not have been security chief in the first place, but if she still gets that position, that means that everybody above her is also completely clueless... It goes on and on.

Or the way that the Klingon war ended. Star Fleet: "Hurr durr, lets just threaten them with genocide, that will make them give up!" Also Star Fleet: "Lets give the detonator to that Klingon Fanatic that brought on the war in the first place and make her the new Dictator!" Also Star Fleet: "Ermagherd, we are the good guys!" Starship Troopers was right: "Violence has solved more problems in history than anything else!" What is stopping L'Rell from just resuming the war with the Federation now that she holds the controls? Nothing, really. Which makes the whole thing not only morally questionable (one could argue that extreme danger justifies extreme means to ensure survival) but also utterly pointless. The only reason that the plan works is because L'Rell does a 180 and completely goes against her character, because ... reasons.

How has it come to this, that Discovery openly advocates for violence and expects us to cheer for it? Same problem as above: Excess. Instead of having the Klingon war being hard fought but fairly even, which results in an eventual cold war because neither side can beat the other, they have the Klingons completely annihilate Star Fleet - so much so that they are literally right above earth when Discovery returns from the Mirror Universe. Once written into that corner, they can only do something crazy to pull themselves out of it - and they don't even manage it, if you pay attention....

Oh, or how Tyler shows up in the finale on the Klingon ship? Remember when he was the Arch Traitor, who killed L'Rells and Voqs Son, at least that's what the Klingons know? And revealing that thats a lie would instantly crumble L'Rells power base and lead to civil war? Yeah, now he just casually stands there and nobody bats an eye. Guess all those Klingons aboard are 100% trustworthy, and will shut up about it, just like not a single person ever mentions Spore Drives or the Red Angel ever again, because the writers need a soft reset because their story goes nowhere...

I will stop now, but I could go on and on about how paying attention does NOT lead to higher enjoyment of Discovery in the slightest.
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Hank
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Oh, just one other thing:
@Alan Roi: A show asking the viewers to fill the blanks in themselves is literally a show about plotholes... Thats what plothole means. A hole in the plot. Sure, we can come up with all kinds of answers to all kinds of questions, and we can interpret the shit out of Discovery, so that it becomes this intricate, multi-season mind bender, but then again, thats our imagination, not the show itself. Last episode you tried to explain the arrival of Sarek by pointing out that Michael contacted him in the past via time travel. Yes, that could have been. But it wasn't. Sarek followed her by Katra-Sensing. Which doesn't explain anything, because it is a temporal, not spacial problem. Yes, you are right, your explanation makes sense, and you might have come up with it in five seconds without breaking a sweat.

Everybody can do that. For example, contrary to popular belief, Burnham didn't shoot T'kuvma in a completely human emotional outburst, but because she knew that it was necessary to shoot him. Hence her completely emotionless acting in that scene. It was deliberate, because she actually recieved a message from her future self saying that it was necesarry to kick of the events that would follow from his death, because a few hundred years later, Klingons and Humans would learn to live together, but if T'kuvma lived, that would be imposible.

See? Now all of Discovery makes sense again. Except that nothing like that was shown on screen and no hint was given that it worked that way. What you are doing to make Discovery make sense it was conspiracy theorists do: Jet fuel can't melt steel beams, hence it must have been explosives, and it makes sense in-universe, because Ameirca wants to have the oil of the middle east. Expect that you don't need to melt steel beams to weaken them enough that the building collapses, so the the whole theory is not needed.

It's fine that you have fun with that. But I am tired of your constant proclamations that "everybody else is just stupid, you don't know how to HANDLE such an intriciate story, that deliberatly leaves out half the important facts so that you can come up with your own reasons, but that would require thinking, and since you all like your Star Trek to hold your hand and spell out its morals, you can not possibly comprehend Discovery, because you look at it like Verneian fiction, where the characters are in service of the technology discussed, while this is Orwellian fiction, where the implication of those technologies are discussed, but it is pointless to talk to you anyways because you dismiss the series out of hand by simply saying that its "pointless" and "stupid", because you don't dare to engage the series with intellectual honesty".

You described yourself as a writer, who loves to come up with solutions to story problems. Thats great. That explains why you have so much fun with Discovery. Because you are not watching the Discovery that we are watching, you are Watching "Alan Roi Discovery", you make your own story as you go along. And thats fine. But it does not make Discovery any less convoluted, disjointed or nonsensical.
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Hank
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Having not watched the last three episodes (besides the last five minutes of the finale), just reading the comments, I must say that it is perfectly fitting that the series writes itself out of existence. Well, not really, since the "nobody talks about it"-retcon is the weakest reset button, but ok, lets assume that everything is reset. Back in season 1 I had the hope that by the finale it would turn out that it was all just a weird dream, and we are now getting basically this. It was clear from the start of season 2 that the writers tried to retcon everything away (with characters mentioning that in-universe, for example "Remove all the holo-comunicators!"), because they really had no-where to go. They couldn't do their own thing, because their own thing sucked, and they couldn't go full-retro beceause they would have had to have a massive break in the story, plus throw away all their sets, scripts, etc. So they give us this: Kirk and Spock are where they should be, nothing what Discovery ever did matters (because nobody talks about it, so it might as well not have happened at all, which, in a funny way, proves all the people right who said this show was pointless), and the Discover herself is off in the far future - where the whole story should have taken place to begin with. This whole second season was the writers basically saying: We screwed up, we made a huge mistake, now we just pretend nothing happend.


The last five minutes of this episode could have been the beginning of Discovery (on board the Discovery, not the Enterprise), a well balanced modernized set design (could have been a little lighter still), updated uniforms, etc etc. Just imagine how fun that would have been, but alas, thats not what we got. Still, it is painful to see what could have been.
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Hank
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Booming: Sorry, by first saying "You can pick apart anything" and then giving the example of the Borg having glass jaws, you gave the impression that that point was just glossed over previously.

No, I am sure that most people here are not idiots, quite the contrary, actually.

My argument was that shows and movies, regardless of the outside influences and constraints that apply, can be judged along objective comon criteria. For example: Character A is holding a sword in scene A, after a cut he holds a gun, and after another cut he holds his sword again. All that happens in 3 seconds of screentime with no timejumps between scenes. We will both agree, hopefully, that that is an inconsistency.

Now, the part where we disagree in the relative value we assign to this scene. You might simply ignore it because it was just a simple mistake and enjoy the movie regardless, while I, hypothetically, am completely analy fixated and write a fifteen page dissertation about why that ruins the movie completely. In that case, it is arguable that the problem does indeed lie with me, and not the movie.

But if we move away from such clear cut cases, it becomes increasingly harder to determine if it is just my problem or an actual problem in the movie. Lets say the movie has fifteen scenes like that: Characters holding guns when they held a stick before. Doors being open that were explicitely shown to be locked. At some point, the case can be made that the movie is objectively bad. It doesn't mean you are an idiot if you enjoy it. It just means that you ignore more things than other people when assessing the value of the movie. And that is, of course, highly subjective.

So yes, it is related to me, and we can include Alan Rois remarks from above here, who quoted you with: "When people hate a show it often has less to do with the show." This, I think, is a non-argument, just like "When people love a show it often has less to do with the show." is a non-argument, because it conflates subjective enjoyment with objective merits that the show or movie has. The implication is, of course, that the people who enjoy/hate the show are just to stupid to understand it, and that the show itself is flawless/utterly terrible. Telling people that they are the problem, and that if they only were to view things from a different (=the other guys) point of view will never convince anybody to change their mind. The other points of view are clearly laid out here, thats one of the reasons that I read the comments, but if they don't convince me, they don't convince me.

We are again in territory that Jammer wishes to not have on this site in such large quantities, so I will just end it here.

Anyways, I wish you good fun with the remaining 40% of your wine bottle (though I do hope that you are drinking the wine and not eating the bottle ;)).
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Hank
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Booming: The neutering and butchering of the Borg is one of the most common criticisms of both First Contact and Voyager. So it hardly went over as well as you suggest here.

And why can't you compare writing in movies and in TV shows? Consistency, logic and suspension of disbelief work just the same in both mediums. Time constraints don't apply there, as you can just take one scene of a series and one scene of a movie and compare those.
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Hank
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Ahhh, come on...

Where are the Admiral and Discovery meeting that she can just jump there instantly with her shuttle? Or was she undereway for a few weeks? Couldn't have used the spore drive. Oh well, space is small.

There is a logic extremist (a known terrorist group) Admiral behind section 31? What the actual fuck? If that is public knowledge, why is that Admiral not removed? "Her fanaticism is ... troubling" Yes of course it is, that's why it's called fanaticism... Jesus. That line delivery, and that sentence, was utterly stupid.

I did like Spock chewing out Burnham. Didn't like him getting all emotional.

Blade mines. The worst invention since the spore drive. You have an organisation with apparently unlimited power constructing forbidden weapons, mines, and instead of arming them with anti-matter warheads, cloaking and shield penetrating abilities, they arm them with swords. Fucking brilliant. Next they invent the front loaded laser musket. The mines are in direct contact with the hull, one anti-matter warhead and Discovery is toast, but no, nada. And when we finally get explosive mines, they detonate with about 100kg TNT equivalent.

Also, the mines track shields, but apparently not the ship itself. What a great targeting system. The Admiral says it is impossible for somebody to remotely send the mines somewhere - why? Because they have no propulsion? In that case, why would you deactivate your shields in the first place? The mines couldn't move to intercept you anyway. Or is it because you can't communicate with the mines? In that case, why can't you? they are not cloaked or in some subspace field or some other technobabble, they are clearly visible. You could send them flag signals for all that we know.

"Sensors say we are upside down" ... ugh, what? In which reference frame? "Black-out mines interfere with our sensors". Yeah, right. Telling you that you are upside down in space, where "down" is not even a valid direction.... Or does space have a "This side up" sign? "Helm is not responding" "It is, you are flying blind, just like in the academy" uh ... no. flying blind is flying without knowing where you are headed. When the helm does not respond it means that your controls are broken. If those black-out mines can hack the sensors that tell you which thrusters are firing, or at how much power your impulse drive is, they can also tell your warpcore that it is only at 50% power, so that it will try to reach 100% and overheat shortly after. They could also tell your oxygen sensors that there is a lack of oxygen, thus the system will flood your ship with more and more oxygen until everything spontaneously combusts.

Stamets is working on a part that he removed from some system. As that part fails, the whole room loses power... Of course, when I remove a tire from my car and then deflate it, the battery shorts out and the doorlocks open.

Airiam offloaded all her memories to Discovery, yet Tillys speech manages to convince her. Why? She has no memories of ever interacting with her at all. Or who she is.

"Michael, it is all about you!" Well, that was a surprise, wasn't it?

To be honest, that "Advanced AI wants to become sentient" plot could have been nice. If it was a standalone episode. Instead we have conspiracy upon conspiracy, and another threat to all sentient life in the galaxy (AI-sentience = all life gone. Well Data... looks like we will have to terminate you). I actually liked some of the cinematography of this episode, and we finally get to know what exactly Airiam was (of course, she has to die as soon as we know something about her...), but whatever potential there was for interesting developements is completely undermined by all the nonsense. Everybody knows that a minefield is dangerous, no need to reinvent the wheel. Enterprise had a very nice episode centered around mines. If the AI is in complete control of the station, why can they turn the gravity back on? Why doesn't the AI turn up the gravity to 11? Again, it could have been interesting, but it was mostly poorly handled.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

@Charles J: Yeah, ok, that's a fair criticism. But, on the other hand, we don't know how it plays out, so it is not really fair to compare this single episode to the great DS9 storylines that came in the following seasons.

But yes, there is not much setup for a follow up here, which was your main point. I disagree somewhat on the character part, as for the first time Gordon seems to be more than just comic relief, and he actually makes a hard choice for once. I also got the impression that Mercer was acting a tad more disciplined than on other occasions. But that is a rather minor detail. I agree that it would have been nice to see more of the internal workings of both the Union or the Krill. We got glimpses, but nothing substantial.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

@Gil: Funnily enough, I thought the same. There was instant chemistry between them, more than between Ash and Burnham or Culber and Stamets... Maybe we are in for another surprise.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

@Bill: Oh yes, you are right. Trent has to answer this, but I think he ment that time where they tried to use the spore drive but it didn't work. Anyways, his argument was that the spore drive had limitations that are completely ignored now, and that argument still stands. And I am not sure you are using the same definition of ad hominem argument, now that I think of it.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

@Bill: He said "try to use" not "used". If we are nitpicking attention spans here...
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

@Karl Zimmerman: Oh god no...

@Booming: How in the world is saying "That piece of art is designed to trigger basic responses and bypass higher brain functions!" saying that "Everybody who watches this is stupid"? Trent opens his paragraph with saying "The writers treat you with contempt", implying that he thinks that the writers think that we are idiots, in contrast to him who thinks that we are intelligent and not fooled by flashing images and fast paced, mindless action hiding bad storytelling.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

@Peter G.: I'd wager we have a fifty-fifty-chance that she is the angel, with the fifty percent against being split between 35% chance of it being some other character we know and 15% that it is some other random person. Also: SMG = "Savior Michael ... godess?"

So far we had: The Empress being Philippa, the Spore Monster being Culber, Ash being Voq, the Kelpians being the predators, Lorca being the bad guy all along... I feel like I have forgotten a few occasions where there was an "unexpected" twist. At least we can out the "Angel = Ghost buddy of Dr. Crusher" theory, as it is confirmed to be human. But maybe a Neon Genesis Evangelion crossover is coming, with the Angel being the 13th Angel (humanity), and everything ending in a sea of goo with Ash trying to choke Burnham to death, to which she replies "pathetic".
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 10:27am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Ok, finished watching and I am impressed. This was a really solid episode. Yes, sure, we have seen this story before, but which story haven't we seen somewhere before? I thought it was handled well. Maybe thats just me, though, as I have noticed that my standards for the Orville are lower than for Star Trek. And the Orville pretty much set out to be a rehash of TNG - it never was trying to hide that, so why is everybody surprised when they cover previous Trek? That's exactly the reason why I am watching. It is just more of TNG, but different enough to not be boring, for me at least.

Sure, they could have focused on the higher ups clashing among themselves wether to make peace or not, but then they'd have to shoehorn the Orville into that (even more than having Mercer sign the agreement, and that was acknowledged in the episode and explained), and we have seen that story as well, in many different guises, Undiscovered Country being just one, and I'd say every second Courtroom drama has the same premise: Forgiveness and peace or vengeance and punishment? True, the stakes are different, but the basic story is the same.

Regarding some criticisms:
1. Why didn't the Krill demand the girl? They said they only wanted Orran. Mercer does not have to tell them that she is still alive either. Yes, I would wager that the Krill would want her, but then again, that might be just a very minor sign of good will from their side. After all, they got confirmation that Orran indeed blew up their ships, an that might be valuable enough, considering the implications at the negotiating table.

2. Why does the signing happen so quickly? This is explained as well: It is not a peace treaty or anything, but rather an agreement to enter negotiations in the first place. Like an EULA you need to sign before installing some program. It has no further implications beyond signalling willingness to talk - and that was what the Krill wanted, after all, they approached the Union. So yeah, it was rushed, but there really wasn't anything there to be explored. And besides, we have had that as well: Almost every episode where a Trek captain needs to do the rituals of another civilization to pave the ground for further negotiations.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 9:28am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

""Patriotism is only for people with large families" .... What does that even mean???"

In the context of this episode: Malloy implies that it is his patriotic duty to agree to the peace treaty - after all, that would reduce future suffering and give meaning to past sacrifices. Orran says his patriot line to imply that he has lost so much, that he can not muster the forgiveness required to agree to a peace treaty, as opposed to people who have not lost so many realtives to the conflict (= large families). It is a little bit confusing, because patriotism in this case means pacifism, internationalism and forgiveness, while in our time it is mostly assosciated with militarism and isolationalism, and the line could be interpreted to be a jab at mid-western white trash, but I didn't get the impression that that was being implied.
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Hank
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 9:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that, for the first time, Culber and Stamets felt like they actually had something going. Culber especially was great, and his actions and motivations were completely believable. I agree with wolfstar, Stamets acting was subpar, compared to Culber, who, for the first time, felt like a real character, instead of a setpiece or foil for Stamets. He actually says something this episode, has feelings and motivations beyond "I love you stamets!". So, Discovery, you CAN write characters, why not just do it all the time?

Regarding Spock: He is sometimes right, but ... he just isn't Spock. I can buy Pike, and all the other minor characters, but Spock ... no, his likeness and mannerisms are just too ingrained in my mind. And his story is ... kind of far fetched. Yeah, Burnham was an asshole to him, but he already figured out why, so, why all the hatred for her? I don't know, I just think it would need more than one incident in his childhood to so completely turn him against Burnham. Not that Burnham has a hard time turning people against her. I am extremely vindictive and resentful, but I am aware of that, as I expect Spock would be, and I still find it hard to believe that Spock is so absolutist in his descisions.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 10:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Oh come on. General Order 7 is in effect, but the computer just nonchalantly explains what powers the Talosians have?

Georgiou is still around even though she only works against her commanding officer? How come she didn't have a transporter accident or some other "misfortune"?

Other then that: Yeah, ok, pretty decent? A shame that it is imbedded in the rest of the series. I don't know, I wasn't particularily hooked. And the Angel is confirmed to be human, so, I guess it will be one of the usual suspects. Hm. Strange, I really have nothing to say about this episode.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

For the record, my summary of the character stuff is just my personal reading of it - it is by no means guaranteed to be factual or accurate, so best read the character stuff for yourselves, there is a link up the thread.

@Thomas: "New life" is kind of misleading, though. Yes, he provides a short-term boost (which would have happened anyways - Star Trek 2009 was popular because legions, literal millions of long time Star Trek fans were completely on board with it, telling everybody and their mother to go see it, and dragging their families to the cinema, just because they were starved for Trek), but he ultimately damages the franchises far more than he helps them. Star Wars has seen the steepest decline of its history, even worse than the prequels, so much so that all the spin-offs have been canceled - and contrary to popular opinion this decline did not happen because of internet trolls. Star Trek, in my estimation, is bound for the same fate, as it tries to emulate JJs short term success with 2009, yet fails to see that that will only hurt it in the long run. I bet that we never see most of the series being announced right now. They got one chance left to deliver something with Picard, but so far, I see no signs that it will stand out any more than Discovery does. JJ is a literal hack. His whole "style" consists of constantly teasing depth and meaning, yet never delivering, and to constantly surprise you with twists and turns and actions and jumpcuts and spectacle to cover up the utter emptiness of his works. His work on Star Trek and Star Wars makes one thing clear: He understands neither franchise, but he does understand hype, nostalgia and making money.

The Force Awakens (a title that has absolutely nothing to do with the film whatsoever, by the way) paraded practical effects and puppets and X-Wings and LUKE FUCKING SKYWALKER in its advertisement, and I remember being pleased in the cinema with the mechanical beast that Rey is riding, for example, or the fact that everything looked like old Star Wars, not the prequels, and that is exactly what he was going for. I realised on the first watch that the whole thing was a retelling of episode IV, and on the second I noticed that the story made no sense whatsoever, the more you think about it. But it doesn't have to, he already had my money.

Star Trek 2009 did the same thing, but a little different. It dangled Kirk, Spock, McCoy, the Enterprise, and everything in HD and with cool effects and nice trailers, and it promised to be fresh, yet familiar, a similar kind of jump in quality from TOS to TNG, and I believed it. After all: A new Star Trek movie! And I did like it. But after watching it again with my family, I realised that it too was completely empty, tailored to activate basic responses. I have completely forgotten the plot, besides that Nero 2.0 blows up Vulcan and Kirk sucks him into a singularity. We are now four movies in, and JJ has jumped the ship, and Star Trek, at least on the movie side, is ruined. The fourth one was just cancelled.

Even JJs biggest achievement, Lost, is, after everything is said and done, completely pointless. It has no rewatch-value at all. And it doesn't make sense. Sounds familiar by now.

True, JJ does not sink a franchise outright. But it might turn out that he does not sink them for five years, but for good. On the other hand, we live in a time where there have been ... four spider man reboots, three superman reboots, three batman reboots.. So we might see a further few reboots of Star Trek, and progressively emptier and uninspired series. Since art is becoming ever more subject to monetary concerns (latest evidence: Discovery season 2 introducing all kinds of retcons and light humor to counter the worst criticisms, despite obviously going against the writers artistic vision), it will continue to decline in quality. Now, I am not a space hippy, I know that art will always be subject to some monetary concerns, I am just saying that it is getting ridiculous. The stakes are so high for the big franchise that they just can not risk anything drastic, hence the constant meddling, and why, for all its outragous moments and flashy action, Discovery never actually says anything of any importance, as that could alienate people. I will stop now, before I write another thousand words.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

Which is why a bloke like Gordon would almost certainly face torrents of hatred going his way, and never make it to the position of Officer on any ship.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

@Trent: Yes, it is hinted at, but it just comes to early. It needed at least another episode of minor cooperation, or a direct threat to the Krill. Doesn't matter if its a comedy or not, the serious parts still have to make sense. The Orville does this alot, though: Offering a solution to a problem but cutting out the middle part, because we all know how that would have went down. Really, all they needed to do was insert a ten second scene before the Krill ships open fire on the Kaylons, where the Kaylons hail them:
Kaylons: "Hello. Please give up the two humans you have captured!"
Krill: "And why in Avis name would I do that?"
Kaylons: "Because we want to purge their planet of all intelligent biological life. It is a threat to our continued existence."
Krill: "All intelligent biological life?"
Kaylons: "Yes!"

and boom. Then you have a reason for the Krill to immediatly declare war on the Kaylons and have a ceasefire with earth.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

@Mac: No problem, just spore-drive it. Micheal is from the future anyways, so why should Michael-Sybok-Beverlyghost not return to the past, only to then be reincarnated into Archers beagle?
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

Regarding the Picard Series character descriptions: Oh god no -.- So, we have Jean-Luc, who is 80, hopping aboard some desolate ship with a motley crew of 20-year old something misfits... who are all flawed in some way: The alcoholic, the antisocial, the 17 year old romulan Anime ninja with a mancrush on picard ... oh my god... Just imagine every episode being Worf-Alexander stories... except instead of 1 Alexander we have 4 or 5. Why would Picard, saviour of the Universe, and retired Admiral, and definitely not the easy-going guy, tag along with those guys? Huuuuuuh......

Regarding Talos IV: Oh not again... The whole Talos IV/General Order 7 stuff was flimsy to begin with. The death penalty was never justified, and was rescinded some time after The Menagerie, and now they will try to retcon it to be about the red angel, but then it wouldn't be lifted, and oh god, this will be a disaster. The Talos IV storyline was already full of plotholes, no need to add more to them, and now Spock visits Talos IV a second time, but I guess he will not remember it, as he doesn't mention it in the Menagerie, because of course, he is crazy now, and of course her trip will be stricken from the records. Uuuugh....

@Tim C: Hahahahahaha, best comment I've read all year. Jesus, that episode was so bad, it is unbelievable. But I also like the Sybok = Michael connection. Michael becomes the red angel, has a sexchange, and then Spock has a brother (who he never mentioned because reasons), so we fill one plothole with another. And Sybok, after detonating God, can just become Beverlys fuck-ghost later. Brilliant. It all makes sense now.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

I meant to say "mowed them down" not "moved them down".

Also, TL;DR: The Ba'ul would have just gone extinct, as they could not have developed sufficiently to beat the Kelpians back with the numerical superiority they had. If they had a technological headstart, they would not have been hunted in the first place. Story makes no sense.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Regarding the Kelpian-Ba'ul relationship: It does not make the slightest lick of sense. This is the timeline Discovery lays out:

1. Ba'ul and Kelpians co-evolve on their planet (highly dubious - one looks like a normal mammal, the other like some eldritch horror from fantasy B-Story).
2. Kelpians are aggressive predators, and hunt the Ba'ul almost to extinction
3. Ba'ul strikes back: At a population of 300 (or 300.000, depending on what the graph in the show showed), they stem the tide, evelop Wunderwaffen and completely annihilate the Kelpian threat.
4. For the next 3000 years or so, the Ba'ul live in fear of the Kelpians, hence the "culling", while the very tiny number of Ba'ul live in hiding, even though the Kelpians are in the stone age and the Ba'ul have warp travel.

So.... Regarding point two: I just don't buy it. I get that people hunt animals to extinction - they are after all not able to talk back. I also see that people get genocided - but that involves hatred. The Ba'ul were food. They would not have been hunted to extinction, they would have been domesticated, if even that. The whole premise that one intelligent species hunts another for food is ridiculous. But even if it was possible - it would have to be pre-enlightenment times, or even pre-middle ages (their middle ages, of course), which brings me to point three.

Point 3: No. Just no. Never ever. Not in a billion years. The level of technological superiority is unachievable, if point 2 is true. If the Ba'ul had a headstart, they would have not been hunted to extinction, they would have waged war against the Kelpians and beaten them, and it would have been a one-sided fight. If they DIDN't have a headstart, they can't achieve the technological superiority neccessary. Lets assume that my hunch, layed out in point two is correct, and the kelpian hunts happend in the enlightenment era, as the absolutely latest possible point in their history. To win against a numerical superiority of ... what, 100000 to 1, the Ba'ul would need to invent nuclear weapons - 200 to 300 years too early, and with a minute population size, no resources to speak of, and constant danger from hunters. Or they would have to bioengineer a virus, which pushes the timeframe even further. There simply is no way for this story to make sense at all.

Point 4: If we assume that point 3 happened, and the Ba'ul somehow managed to invent battleships while the Kelpians sailed around in canoes, and moved them down by the hundreds of millions - why would the Ba'ul hide after that? They would maybe take the last few Kelpians, put them in a reservation, let them have gambling licenses and otherwise completely forget about them. Nobody holds grudges for 1000 or 3000 years against a non-threat that is contained. You can't assimilate them, as they are too different, contrary to what happened to the Neanderthals. So, that the Ba'ul fear the Kelpians is complete and utter nonsense. If it ISN'T, and they really do fear them for 3000 years, they WILL just genocide them. There is no way that you maintain a status quo where you live in constant fear. They would have, at some point, either reached an agreement, or keep them in reservations, but there is no need for the Ba'ul to hide, or do things indirectly. And if you chalk that up to "prey mentality", well, then they would just have run.

In North America, settlers WERE afraid of the natives - after all, they raided them, burned their homes, stole their children, and scalped their prisoners. What did they do? Almost completely genocide and culturcide them.

For the Ba'ul to act the way they do, they need to be extremely enlightened in that hot phase of the war against the Kelpians. Instead of what the Americans did, conquering the land, and pushing the natives further and further back, and only stopping because there literally was nothing left worth to conquer, they would have had to push the Kelpians back until they are not a threat anymore, and then, out of the good of their heart, create a "paradise" for them, and then go into hiding. At the same time, those enlightened Ba'ul also need to be extremely primordial to not overcome their fear at all. It just doesn't make sense in the slightest. If they are afraid now, with their technological advantages, imagine their terror when there were just but a few of them left, and they start their war of extermination against the Kelpians. They would not have stopped until every last ounce of danger from the Kelpians was gone. Rome and Carthage, except that Rome has nukes and Carthage has triremes. They might have completed the genocide just out of guilt alone. They killed hundreds of millions, for generations, their only goal was exterminating the enemy, generations of young Ba'uls saw the horrors of war - but, since they are so advanced, they come to the realisation what they are actually doing there. Do they just say "Oh well, we will completely shift our attitude and make amends by giving a nice life to the remaining Kelpians - but we are also cruel and cull them!" or would they just kill them all to not be confronted with their guilt anymore? The Ba'ul were beating the Kelpians when they were at their weakest, at some points the roles switched and the Kelpians cowered in fear before the owerwhelming might of the Ba'ul. Would the Kelpians not have tried to negotiate peace? And if the Ba'ul refused, and continued to slaughter them by the millions, why would they then go on to construct this elaborate system of religion, culture and brute force to keep them in check? The Ba'ul NEED to be genocidal monsters to wage their war the way they did, yet they also NEED to be empathic preservers to keep the Kelpians around. I am writing in circles, because this whole story is going around in circles. It makes no sense.
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Hank
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

Hm, apparently I was wrong about Kaylon emotions. It seems that only Isaac is convinced that he does not have them. Notice the conversation he has with Kaylon Prime: Prime constantly warns him that he should not feel sympathy for the humans - to which Isaac responds "That's impossible", but Kaylon Prime repeats it again later, implying that he knows that Isaac is capable of emotions. Isaac was build by the Kaylon after the genocide, so maybe they told him that he had no emotions, as they see emotions as a biological concept.

Their motive for destroying earth, contrary to last episode, seems to fear of oppression, in contrast to the logical conclusion that in a finite universe, you don't want to share resources. That comes from an emotional place. Logically, there is no reason to suspect anybody is going to enslave them "just because", and given the fact that they seem to possess superior technology, it is highly unlikely to succeed in the first place. Anyways, it is not really clear right now. Lets hope that Seth stops treading familiar ground and comes up with something fresh as a follow up, as this episode was pretty by the book. The Kaylon were also defeated far too easily, which is a bad thing regardless of the reasons that it happened (time constraints or story reasons, the Kaylon not being as powerful as they made themselves out to be), as can clearly be seen in the Borg storylines in later Voyager episodes. Overall, this episode was far weaker than the last, and I'd rate it at 2.5 stars, everything was too rushed and too convenient. I just don't see the Krill helping earth, they'd rather stay back and laugh as their enemies are destroyed, even though that would hurt them in the long run.
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