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Iceman
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 11:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@William B-

I'm going to defend "Hard Time" here-it was all about the consequences. It was basically "It's Only a Paper Moon", with the events of "Siege" told in flashback. Plus, as you mentioned in "The Inner Light" comments, a random outside event is not a good catalyst for character development. They spent an entire episode of O'Brien coming to terms with his trauma! That's how episodic television works-it's not inherently inferior to serialized television.
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Iceman
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 11:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

@William B-"This ep is a sequel to Honor Among Thieves and inherits and builds on its discordant characterization and setting, and is not as well acted. "

Exactly. "Honor Among Thieves" was an episode that had no good reason to exist, but was lifted into passable territory for me by its acting. Sometimes DS9 just doesn't know when to quit and let an element go.
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Iceman
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 10:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

"Death certificates (of people close to power), for instance. "

If they don't have the exact identity of his contacts, they can't prove anything. Simple as that.

"That’s my point. In “real life” this method would have had little chance of success. "

Two things. One, this isn't "real life". Two, I don't see your point. Gaging someone's reaction is a fine way to figure out the truth. If the rod was real, Sisko would be calm.

"You could argue that Garak lied in order to put Sisko in a time pressure, giving him no time to think things over. But that would not necessitate saying that the contacts were dead."

Again-Garak tells Sisko later in the episode "Make up a story. Tell him many brave men died to obtain this rod". It makes Sisko more likely to go along with Garak's plan.

"@Iceman, I’d like to know which Star Trek episodes (except of TOS) has plot holes in them. "

Look at @Quarkissnyder's comments for every DS9 episode-about 5 plot holes are pointed out per episode on average. Or at the comments of most Trek episodes on this website.

-"All Good Things"
-"The Inner Light"
-"The Visitor"
-The entire Dominion War arc
-"Call to Arms"
-""Treachery, Faith, and the Great River"
-"Force of Nature"

And countless others that can be found if you really want to look for them.
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Iceman
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

"Regarding the other objections, they say in principle that there are other episodes with bigger holes. But one must differentiate between buying into the premise of the series (i.e., few hundred years into the future, faster than light travel is possible, time travel etc.) and assuming that people don’t react as they would have in “real life”. When you incorporate time travel into the story, you are almost bound to run into the grandfather paradox, so you can’t blame the creators for not dealing with it well, as it is a paradox. But you can’t expect people to do unexplained things, such as ignoring the complete unreasonableness of an evidence or not acting on one’s race’s best interest (by immediately contacting the gov)."

Yeah, my point was that you have to have a high suspension of disbelief to watch Star Trek in the first place. It doesn't excuse plot holes, but I don't think most of yours actually are in this case.


" One of them is Vreenak’s fake outrage. It does goes well with him telling the bodyguard to leave the room before announcing it, and also with Garak’s not admitting at the end that the forgery was substandard, just that ‘any imperfections will be attributed to the explosion’. Yet, this possibility doesn’t sink my criticism, as there are much better ways to induce truth telling than simply announcing it and expecting the liar to conform. Just ask Garak, haha."

Just because there are other ways to induce truth doesn't preclude the possibility of Vreenak using the one he did-it was effective and got the job done. In my opinion, you're reaching.

"The other one is that this was Garak’s plan from the beginning and that he lied that his contacts were dead. But this lie would be simple enough to detect; and it doesn’t serve a purpose because following the true plan from the beginning would save time. "

Since no one else knows who Garak's contacts on Cardassia are, so it's not really verifiable at all. It does serve a purpose because he avoids risking his only connections to his beloved homeland. Following Sisko's plan would mean risking that.

I stand by my original statement and respectfully disagree with your original post-most of these "plot holes" are nitpicks at best, as opposed to gaping logic flaws.


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Iceman
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 8:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@Springy-

"--This is a nicely done ep about the consequences of Nog's injury, but I didn't see it (the part about showing some consequences) as unique in the Trekverse. And unless we see a lot more consequences for Nog, this will be right there with all of Trek, in giving us a pretty quick fix, when the consequences of trauma are occasionally addressed."

-It's a quick fix in terms of the show, not in the universe itself. Nog is in there for quite some time.

-Has there been another example of this? I can't remember off the top of my head. "Lessons" acknowledges "The Inner Light", but this is far more direct (I love "Lessons", for the record).
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Iceman
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

"2. It would not make sense for Vreenak to inform Sisko that he knows it's a fake."

There are multiple possibilities. First of all, why not? If it's a fake, he's not going to enter into an alliance with the Federation. Simple as that. Sisko will know if Vreenak knows anyway. Second of all, it's possible that Vreenak doesn't know whether it's a fake or not, and he's doing it to gage Sisko's reaction. This fits with what we know about Garak's considerable talents in forgery and the Romulans' deception.

"1. In the holo meeting, it would not make sense for the Dominion-Cardassia to attack the Romulans while still in fighting with the Federation and Klingons. Furthermore, it would not make sense for the Romulans not to wait 3 weeks to find out if this info was correct, because at that time the Federation and Klingons would still be in the fighting. And It would not make sense that Sisko didn't realize that."

The entire point of the episode is that the rod, combined with the supposed assassination of Vreenak is what pushes the Romulans over the edge. Regardless of whether the attack plan makes sense, the fact that this senator who was holding a rod was killed in this manner looks extremely suspicious.

"8. It would not make sense that the Dominion was aware of Garak's contacting his old friends on Cardassia, and not use it to (try to) prove what happened. "

Big assumption: Garak actually contacted people on Cardassia. A major theory regarding this episode is that Garak lied about his contacts dying to Sisko. The evidence? Twofold. Firstly, Garak tells Sisko to give a speech to Vreenak with the whole 'many good men died to get this rod' schtick. Which is exactly what Garak would be doing if he were lying to Sisko about his contacts. Secondly, Garak's entire character. Lying is what he does, as established in "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast". And I seriously doubt he'd risk getting everyone he knows on Cardassia killed.

"10. It doesn't make sense that the Dominion-Cardassians would have recorded such a sensitive meeting. "

They didn't, because it was a fake lie. Again, the main reason this pushed the Romulans into the war was the rod combined with Vreenak's assassination. It actually does make sense that the Romulans would rush into the war were one of their citizens killed-that's what great powers do. It all may seem too convenient that they buy into this-the Romulans are schemers, after all. And yet we've seen time and time again in the TNG era the Romulans being outwitted by the Federation. Since they can't ever actually succeed, they pretty much fail at everything they try to accomplish. Perhaps they're not as smart as they think they are.

"9. It doesn't make sense that the rod was readable after the explosion, and that this fact did not rose suspicion. "

This is applying real-world logic to a highly fictionalized setting. Sure, the episode asks us to believe a rod can survive an explosion, but it also asks us to believe a ship can fly faster than the speed of light. This is hardly the worst thing in a Trek episode. The episode asks us to believe it, and I can.

"4. It would not make sense that Sisko would allow Garak to risk being captured inside Vreenak's shuttle just to get some info, when he believes that it's absolutely vital to be in Vreenak's favor. "

No, but considering Sisko knows Garak was a member of the Obsidian Order, one of the most formidable intelligence agencies in the galaxy, I think he trusts him not to get caught.

"11. It would not make sense that Dax wouldn't have figured what happened anyway, as she knows what the original plan was. "

She doesn't believe Sisko is possible of such a thing (before this episode, he didn't either, unless you bring up "For the Uniform", which is a whole other can of worms), and she doesn't know about Garak's involvement.

I could go on, but I'll just say that most of these are iffy, and less gaping than the holes you could poke in other Trek episodes, which have never been known for their tremendous logical coherence (as @Quarkissnyder aptly put it). Add that to the fact that plot holes/nitpicks really don't matter all that much unless they're gaping, and I really don't have a problem with anything about this episode (But your mileage may vary. I have a high suspension of disbelief in general, but particularly for Star Trek-people have poked holes in every classic Trek episode, from "The Inner Light" to "The Visitor" to "Yesterday's Enterprise". A the end of the day, the entire franchise requires a high suspension of disbelief. That's my reasoning). In fact, my opinion is the opposite of yours-I think this story has fewer plot holes than the vast majority of Trek episodes. But I respect your opinion nonetheless.
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Iceman
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 8:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

@Springy-You're fine. It's a moderately dull episode that sets out to make Ezri interesting, and basically fails. Even Garak doesn't save it. I don't hate it, but it's definitely below average DS9 for me. Season 7 doesn't start off as well as Season 6, but it doesn't fizzle out like Season 6 does either.
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Iceman
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 8:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Point of Light

@Startrekwatcher-

"And just my personal preference but if aTrek series is going to do serialized storytelling I would much prefer it go all in. I don’t like shows that try to be a hybrid by either mixing standalone and arc elements within a single episode or that tell a few standalone here then go to arc material. That was one of the frustrating things about DS9. Its arc stuff was much more interesting and entertaining than its filler that I’d have rather it just been only serialized the way a lot of older prime time dramas used to be. "

I don't think it really matters how many standalones there are. That's just the structure. It's a matter of whether a show can pull it off. I thought DS9 was a mixed bag on this front. Some of its singular one-offs were wonderful, but too many of them told inconsequential stories that didn't add anything of value to the series as a whole. (This differed from season-to-season. Season 4 had lots of good one-offs. Season 6, not as much). But it could be forgiven because DS9 wasn't envisioned as a serialized show, which were quite rare back in the 90s. Discovery can't do serialization well, regardless of how serialized it is.

I would disagree about Ron Moore though. I don't think he should be brought back, but he was a great writer on DS9. He wrote a whole lot of great episodes, from an uncredited re-write of "In the Pale Moonlight" to "Rocks and Shoals" to "The Die is Cast".
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Iceman
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 6:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@William B-

I thought the Pabst/Odo connection was subtle but brilliant. They're both more concerned with maintaining the status quo than bringing about positive change that would disrupt their ordered world. With Odo, this manifests with his Founder nature-he's naturally controlling and casually infringes upon civil liberties as seen in "The Wire". He didn't join up with the Bajoran Resistance during the Occupation because he was more comfortable presenting himself as the reasonable outsider above it all, the one who doesn't take sides and wishes that everyone would just get along. That same character trait shows up in Pabst. He too, acts like he's above it all. He's not a crusader, and he almost implies both Benny and his boss are being too extreme. Overall, it's a small part of the episode, but like the rest of it, it works on multiple levels.
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Iceman
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

@springy-

I thought that this episode is about the toxicity of hubris. I suppose this lesson could be applied to the military, it's a more general life lesson. The reason I agree with @wolfstar and really dig this episode is because it drives this point home by obliterating Star Trek conventions. There's no real reason why Red Squad should fail here, narratively speaking-The Enterprise D's defeat of the Borg was probably more incredible, statistically-except for the fact that they're arrogant sods. I think it's a great episode.
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Iceman
Fri, Feb 1, 2019, 7:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

@Springy-

You should be very worried. "Waltz" is basically the last time Gul Dukat works as a character. For that reason, I can understand why this 'ruins' the episode in the eyes of some. For me personally though, it doesn't decrease the quality of it that much at all. Said quality is just too high.
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Iceman
Thu, Jan 31, 2019, 8:52am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@Springy-

"--My objection to the portrayals is that they were boring and annoying."

Right, but you said they were stereotypes. Peter's point was that, no they're not. I myself wrote that they were cliche, but I do think I'd excise that from my criticism. The guest actors are just overplaying it by about 200%. It doesn't sink the episode for me, but I can see why they would for you. It's kind of like "..Nor the Battle to the Strong"-I can see through the iffy execution to see the compelling story underneath.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 30, 2019, 8:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

@Chrome-

I don't know if the problem is that it rings false to me-I'd say the bigger problem is how vague it is. The show never takes the time to develop it the way it does Cardassians or Klingons, so it never really says anything meaningful about religion (with some exceptions like "Rapture", etc.). I think that's why the religious stuff is so boring for me (and for other DS9 viewers).
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

@Peter G.-

I think you're right. DS9 wasn't Babylon 5 when it comes to long-form storytelling, but it was absolutely ahead of the curve, and were constantly fighting with the higher ups at Paramount. They wanted the 6-episode arc at the beginning of the sixth season to be 9 episodes, for example. The show as a whole has a very interesting approach to serialization. There are episodes like "Visionary" that utilize the status quo but don't actually advance the main story, there are episodes that move forward a character's development like "Return to Grace", and of course there are the massive, universe-altering events like "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast".

Also, I felt that many of DS9's non-Dominion episodes were either great in their own right and/or told a story worth telling, or contained great character moments and development.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

@Springy-

"Not sure why the Dominion would want to bother with a non aggression pact with Bajor. I don't have the impression Bajor has the resources to make much difference in any Alpha Quadrant takeover attempt by the Dominion. "

They want to prove to the Alpha Quadrant two things: 1)-They're a peaceful power who means the Alpha Quadrant powers no harm and 2)-They're a great power of their word.


Onto the rest of the episode, I think it's really beautiful. One of the best DS9 episodes for me-great writing, acting, pacing, and editing. A comedy classic.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 9:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Great point, @Chrome. Most Trek one-offs have the reset button. The question is whether the writer(s) can make the journey compelling. In this case, I think Rene Echevarria (and Gary Holland and Ethan H. Calk) absolutely did (but I know you disagree-you gave this 1.5 stars! Ouch).


@Springy-


"And it's hard to buy the lack of discussion, the lack of pushback, and the method by which they abandon DS9 (to who knows what, with no commander, no doctor, no science officer, no chief engineer . . . ) - so that these 8,000 people could continue to exist - especially since neither choice (stay, go) seems to clearly mean continued existence or non-existence. "

This is an understandable criticism. Michelle Erica Green's review brings up the point that someone should have brought up the Dominion or the junior officers-does it make sense that the decision seemingly hinges upon O'Brien's conscience? Well, not entirely, But O'Brien is a regular character, and the junior officers aren't. And I'm sure Starfleet will find other talented individuals to replace the DS9 senior staff-as you've seen in "Call to Arms", they have a massive, massive fleet. I think "Children of Time" goes pretty in depth on the moral dilemma (there's only so much time in 45 minutes), but ymmv. The colony story secondary to the Odo/Kira story-Echevarria's a character writer, and one of the strongest in the franchise at that-, so leaps in logic in the colony section of the episode don't bother me much.
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Iceman
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 9:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Sons of Mogh

@Elliott-

I think you hit this squarely on the head. It starts off really well... until it crashes and burns. The ending is no different from if Worf had just been allowed to kill Kurn in the first place. Especially considering Bashir is the most similar to a TNG cast member-he even brought up the Prime Directive at one point. Ronald D. Moore actually agreed. "But the way the show plays out ultimately, there is a little bit of a feeling that you go to Bashir’s laboratory to to get your memory wiped, and that he is the mad scientist."

I agree that Kurn would find this fate worse. However, the fact that Kurn views giving up and committing suicide-by-Worf is in any way "honorable" says a lot about the contradictions inherent to Klingon society. So that was one interesting thing I took away from this episode, along with the poignant final image of Worf being all alone. It's an interesting episode, but it doesn't entirely work.
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 26, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

As is often the case, I find myself disagreeing with almost everything you posted here, even though I think the two-parter isn't the best in the series.

" A very good two parter on the character development aspect. A mess on the "war story" development - no suspense, just confusion. Will the Dominion really attack? Will they go back to dilly dallying as they did last season? Do I care?"

I don't really see what's confusing here-the Dominion has made inroads in the Alpha Quadrant, so they have a base from which to attack the Klingons and the Federation. They never planned to attack yet-they want to wait to amass their forces to the point that they can completely obliterate the Federation. Last season, they did not have a base of attack in the Alpha Quadrant, somewhere to retreat to if they lost. Now they do-in fact this is what they were doing last season and for the first half of this one-they were negotiating with the Cardassians, who were in that state due to the war with the Klingons, which the Dominion helped instigate. They were not "dilly dallying". As to whether you care, I think the Dominion is one of the best creations in all of Star Trek that results in some of the franchises' best thematic explorations of ideas like faith ("Treachery, Faith, and the Great River") and honor ("Rocks and Shoals"). Yes, those are from future episodes, but I feel those themes were always present with the Dominion. So I personally was very invested in them up to this point. They're very well developed, and they cast some of the most memorable actors in the franchise to play them, be them one offs like Scott MacDonald from "Hippocratic Oath" or recurring characters like Jeffery Combs as Weyoun from "To the Death" and "Ties of Blood and Water". I guess I'm really struggling to understand your frustration and disappointment with them, especially considering you negatively compared the Dominion to the Borg, a concept which was run into the ground and ruined by Voyager, and the Xindi, whom I didn't find nearly as interesting or well developed. Different strokes I suppose.

"Just what does it mean, to become part of the Dominion? What terrible things will befall you? I get that their vengeance is terrible if you dare try to leave them, and of course, no one likes to give up their autonomy, but . . . what horrors await Cardassia? What horrors would await Kronos or Romulus or Earth, if they were forced to become part of the Dominion? And why, exactly, is the Dominion bound and determined to take over the Alpha Quadrant? They don't trust solids, I get that, so why not just close the wormhole?"

All of these questions are pretty clear to me. To start with the last one, the Dominion could close the wormhole, but that doesn't take care of the solid threat permanently, and from what we've seen, they have an infinite lifespan. It's better to ensure the Alpha Quadrant is no longer a threat now so they don't have to worry about it later. And since the Jem'Hadar fight their battles for them, there's no personal cost. Just as there was no personal cost for European generals in World War 1 who sent millions of young men to their deaths, so they had no problem doing it. Now, onto what happens when a world becomes part of the Dominion and why it's so awful-the Founders are a group of fascists. That in and of itself is a pretty good explanation for why people are so scared of becoming a part of them, but they're also a group of genocidal warlords who are willing to use biological warfare to achieve their aims ("The Quickening") and to genetically engineer slaves to do their bidding. No one in the Federation, a free society, would be willing to make concessions to a group like that, even with a show of power (This is shown in an episode you haven't seen yet, "Statistical Probabilities"). Last time the free world made concessions to fascism, it didn't work out so well-it resulted in France being taken in weeks. I use all these real world parallels because I'm certain the DS9 writers had them in mind-it shows that DS9 is doing what Trek's supposed to do: provide a reflection of the human condition through a sci-fi lens.
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Iceman
Sat, Jan 26, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

@Springy-

" I was surprised at the high rating. A good ep, but not a classic to me. Too much crazy contrivance beyond the unavoidable paradox stuff, especially when it comes to how the tough decisions are made. Reset button conveniently hit by old-Odo."

I disagree. What's brilliant about the ending is that it 'hits the reset button' (as it must) in a way that makes sense for the characters and is devastating. It's a love story filtered through a sci-fi high concept-it's outstanding in my opinion. Yes, you have to suspend disbelief, but that's the case with pretty much all of Star Trek. The technobabble is never the point (and in this case, I don't even think this was a particularly incoherent use of it). So, I do see this episode as a classic, and one of the best in the whole franchise.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 23, 2019, 7:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@Peter G.-

Ironic, isn't it? That the "bastard stepchild" of the franchise would produce the most effective encapsulation of Trek's core values, and have that episode be one of the best pieces of science fiction in any medium.

@Mal-

Wonderful post. If you want good science fiction, I'd also recommend "Person of Interest". It's disguised as a procedural, but it's great sci-fi nonetheless, and my personal favorite show.


As for Brooks' overreaction, I used to cringe as well. But I intellectually, at least, think that it definitely makes sense. This is a man pushed to his limit by a constant stream of abuse and dehumanization. It's no surprise to me, that when he goes off the deep end, it's in a very unhinged and uncomfortable way.
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Iceman
Tue, Jan 22, 2019, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

@Peter G.-

Personally, I liked it. Several reviewers have described DS9 as an island of misfit toys. Finally, Bashir fits in on DS9!
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Iceman
Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 10:50am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

@Elliott-

I see. Well, I don't care for Janeway's character. Not because of the actress, who shined whenever given a good script. For example, "Counterpoint" is in my top 5 Voyager episodes. However, I do feel that the writers never quite got a handle on characterizing her consistently, which leaves me never quite being as invested in her as I should be. And yes, she made many reprehensible decisions for purely selfish reasons ("ENDGAME"-ok, not going to rag on this again, but it's awful). At least Sisko's "I can live with it" was done to save the entire Alpha Quadrant. Besides, Sisko was under no delusions about what he'd done.
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

@Elliott-

" Thank you. Anti-Janeway bias creeps in prevalently in a lot of Voyager reviews. Given that all of her attempts at forming alliances here end in failure, whether the ones she found unsavoury (Cullah) or the ones that she actively endorsed (Mabus), I don't see how one can miss that the failure is an intentional choice to shape the character. "

Define "Anti-Janeway bias". Are you referring to disliking Kate Mulgrew's performance, or critiques of Janeway's characterization?
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

@Elliott-

Honestly, I think there are definitely worse episodes than "Threshold". Though its ending certainly sinks it into the bottom tier of Voyager, it doesn't do any lasting damage to the series, unlike "Investigations" later this season. It's just a really dull hour of television with a laughably atrocious ending. I certainly don't hate it as much as "Endgame".
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Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

@Elliott-

"Everything about the way Odo's attraction is portrayed is conveyed in very conventional, human (read: American) terms. This is a shorthand that Star Trek uses often, and I don't really have a problem with it in that respect, but I can't write Kira's obliviousness off in the same breath. "

Well, I think it's pretty obvious why it's not something that should be complained about-Star Trek is made by Americans. That being said, I do have a problem with how all the substantive Odo/Kira stories in the series are from Odo's perspective. I don't think it's a problem with "Crossfire" though. It specifically calls him out for his behavior. It only becomes a problem for me when they start trying to sell the Odo/Kira pairing believably.
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