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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I agree with Jammer's comments and would add that one of the more uncomfortable implications of the DS9 arc was that Sloan was essentually correct - but for Section 31's intervention in creating the Changeling virus the Alpha quadrant powers would almost certainly have lost to the Dominion.

The neutralization of the Founders was, arguably as much as the closure of the wormhole, responsible for the Dominion's loss. Their impact in the years leading up to the war and during it was, frankly, devastating. Consider that but for what amounted to protagonist plot armor, they would have single handedly 1) Blown up DS9 and half the Federation fleet; 2) Started a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire; 3) Started another war between the Federation and the Tsenkathi and 4) Turned the Federation into a paranoid dictatorship etc...

None of the foregoing is really arguable in the context of DS9.

I don't fault DS9 for straying from Rodenberry's vision; I fault Rodenberry's vision (which was actualized most clearly in TNG through Picard) for being rubbish, completely at odds with the universe as it was portrayed. Even assuming humanity had forsaken its sins by the 24th Century, certainly the Romulans and Cardassians (and others) had not! The only thing the Dominion brought to the table that was really gamechanging was a ruthlessness and resourcefulness that others lacked. But this was a question of degree, not kind.

In this context, how could Starfleet not embrace at least some of Section 31's methods? Does the enlightened human of the 24th Century choose annihilation and enslavement over violation of his principles? It was always easy for Picard to choose principles behind the helm of a Galaxy Class starship capable of wiping the floor with virtually all of its adversaries.
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Jason
Mon, Feb 18, 2019, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

Great review Jammer, I think you liked it more than some people here, but you’re right, the episode works based on this show’s own terms. It’s kind of like how the Prophets intervened in DS9 quite a bit, but the show sort of explained them, even if the explanation itself was not very scientific.

Jammer wrote:

“People seem to be up in arms that Section 31 is — gasp! — not the same secret organization it was when we encountered it on DS9. Is it so hard to imagine a significant change in the organization's profile in the course of a whole century? (And Section 31 was not as underground as you may remember, as seen by the end of "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges.")”

I know, it’s wild, right? I hope once we get more info about Section 31 in this time period we’ll understand how it’s different and why it might need to become more secretive in time. One possibility is that the TNG era was relative peace and thus Section 31 served the Federation better by keeping a low profile. Then that all changed when the Dominion came and threatened the Federation’s existence.
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I see canon this way: if you ignore it and the show succeeds, basically you get away with it and you look visionary for refreshing and reinvigorating the past. If it fails, you are judged all the more harshly and it become akin to an aggravating factor in sentencing after thd guilty vedict has been handed down.

No good product ever failed just because it didn't follow canon, but a bad product that ignores canon will be judged more harshly than one that doesn't.
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Jason
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@wolfstar

I don’t know, the show hasn’t made us think Georgiou is anything more than a petty tyrant. The reason you’d want to spend time with her isn’t because she’s an awesome person, but because you recognize there’s an interesting story to be had, even for villains. Am I embracing right wing politics if I enjoy watching Darth Vader rise to power?
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Jason
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@Blue_Mike

People just like to nitpick. Obviously S31 had ships, how can anyone operate in space without a ship? Though I think it’s good to discuss the capabilities of the ships/tech. Is there cloak or just good stealth tech, regular warp or transwarp, what’s the armament, etc.
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Jason
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 12:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

^Trent & Madman

I noticed that too. Maybe Data selling his combadge in the 19th century or Henry Starling in the 1990s discovering one led to an earlier model of a combadge.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 6:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

It seems as though pretty much every episode lingers on the low side of 3 stars with this show. Interesting.
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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 13, 2019, 7:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

"Actually, it's not. Dr. Crusher states out loud that it was specifically engineered to kill a certain family and that it's perfectly safe if you don't have that DNA pattern. Therefore, any one of the alternatives I suggested would've worked. She was no danger to Riker, "

Not talking about Riker, talking about the warlord guy. She was literally two feet away from him and if she so much as touched him with the tip of her finger it would be instant death. Heck, she was within spitting distance and presumably a dot of her saliva would have been fatal. If you were the guy, would you want Riker to stun her (rather than kill) if the stun had already failed to put her down? All I can say is that if she launched a lugie at his face 1/2 second before collapsing from the stun Starfleet would be facing a hell of a negligence lawsuit from the dude's family or clan or whatever.

You know what I've convinced myself. I was wrong to think (as you do) that Riker killing her was unnecessary. He did what he had to do.
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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 13, 2019, 9:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

So Booming your alternate theory is that Burnham just decided to change the setting from stun to kill and shoot a man in the back who had *not* killed her mentor?
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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 13, 2019, 8:41am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

"The authors clearly mean for us to conclude Riker had no choice. However, that's NOT what's on the screen. "

It is a little muddier than you imply. Just her touch was deadly, so arguably, Riker could not risk her shrugging off the stun (which she already showed superhuman resistence to) long enough to lay a fingernail on this guy.

But I agree it was awkwardly presented.

But remember, TNG was episodic, not serialized. As you said, it was obvious that the writers intended Riker to have no choice. Riker's actions in TVF do not carry through the series anymore than Janeway turning into a lizard and making lizard babies with Tom in Threshold carried through Voyager.

We hear constantly about Burnham's mutiny in S1 but never her deliberately killing T'Kumveh out of revenge and throwing away her mission to capture him and stop the war. I wonder why? *cough* retcon.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 8:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

"I also ask myself sometimes why for example Picard or Garak were never called Mary Sue (Marty Sue?)? Both characters who knew everything and were almost always right."

I've come to the realization that while certain words may appropriately describe certain narrow situations, their use is almost always counter-productive and likely to inflame rather than enlighten. Their harm to civil discourse outweighs any marginal descriptive power they may have.

Mary Sue, like Mansplaining, belongs in this category.

Suffice it to say Burnham is a horrendous character, while Picard and Garek are not. It's as simple as that.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

I really doubt that the average soldier would have broken like Burnham did or even the average person in general. But even if I am wrong on that point, Burnham isn't supposed to be average anything - she is the creme de la creme, the elite.

As for whether killing him actually made a difference to the war it's irrelevent because whatever the reality *she believed that killing him would make the war worse*. She is damned by her own clearly stated belief. That is what I mean when I say the writers forced her character into a box that she couldn't escape from. The writers just botched the story, spectacularly, irreparably.

As for the self defence theory, my recollection is that T'Kumvah stabbed Georgiou first. But even if he didn't, how is a stun setting less incapacitating than a kill setting? In Star Trek the two are effectively the same in putting someone down, unless it's a super soldier or an android or something, which T'Kumveh wasn't.

And I agree what others noted - the show addresses the *mutiny* but just ignores the implications of her killing T'Kumveh. Like I said the writers just botched it badly, and they basically tried to retcon yheir own character in the space of an episode.
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 4:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

Fair enough Steven. And to be clear, Burnham's chief sin wasn't murder per say. I mean okay, she was a sdier and he was a hostile attacker after all.

No the chief sin was the murder *as an act of willfully blowing up her mission* the very same mission that she implored Giorgiou to go on to prevent a war. Burnham is the one who explained the dire consequences of killing T'Kumveh. The writers could have made the implications less clear, could have used another character to explain this but they chose Burnham. They chose to make her unambiguously the one who chose an act that *she believed* would start a war that could kill millions. In a situation, no less, when just pulling the trigger on stun would have completed the mission and saved all those lives.

This is the corner they wrote themselves into with this character. There is no rationalizing out of that box.

And you know what, I would have completed the damned mission. Most people, even everyday shmoes would have. Burnham's choice was appalling. A role model? Good god!
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

"Jason R., forget criminal law. Imagine if a foreign warship sailed in proximity of Rockall (UK territorial waters) and started jamming English radio signals. The Royal Navy came to investigate it but her crew was assaulted by people on the warship. Wouldn't there be a pretty heavy case that the Royal navy had a right to retaliate with deadly force?"

Well the scenario you are describing is comparable to Burnham killing that Klingon while space walking on the Coffin ship - which nobody disputes was self-defence. You do realize that's not the incident we are talking about, right?
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 3:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

"Taking revenge on T'Kuvma may not be justifiable, but it's sure as hell understandable."

Ummm. Alright let me try to respond as best I can here. In some quarters it would be understandable. In a criminal law context, for instance, I do feel the fact of T'Kuvma's just murdering her mentor before her eyes might justify some kind of temporary insanity defence. At a minimum it might justify a court having some leniency on her in sentensing.

But let's be clear: in the foregoing posts someone claimed that she made a "moral choice" (murder?) for the "right reason" (revenge?!) and before that, someone implied that Burnham was some kind of role model for peopke today wantkng to go into the sciences etc...

What makes the whole thing doubly egregious is that Burnham knows completely the consequence of killing T'Kumveh because she said it herself in the same episode. Preventing war was allegedly the reason for her mutiny, and she betrays that goal explicitly, with eyes wide open when she switches her phaser to kill and shoots him in the back.

This isn't "to hell with orders". This isn't Kirk being angry and skeptical if peace with Klingons or even Sisko poisoning a planet (killing no one but forvcong its evacuation) This isn't even Sisko (unknowingly) murdering a Romulan Senator to save the Federation. This is naked selfish revenge due to personal failure of character. Could it get her an acquittal in court if she had a good lawyer? Maybe. Is this an f-in role model? Good god no.

And if the show acknowledged the implications of this decision, if there was some serious consideration of Burnham's weakness of character I'd be intrigued. Does it ever do that? NOT talking about the mutiny now - talking about the *murder*. Does it? Well?
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

"Burnham was trying to save lives when she mutinied. She also wanted to avoid conflict with the Klingons when she tried to shoot first*. Those are moral acts. Moral people can, and often do, make bad choices for the right reasons. "

Ahem you are talking about the mutiny, but that was the least of Burnham's crimes. Did you forget her willfully murdering the Klingon leader (turning her phaser to *kill* from stun) 10 minutes after breathlessly imploring Giergiou to capture rather thank kill him, because the latter would plunge the Federation into interstellar war?

What was the moral to that act? Willfully murdering a head of state out causing war that would kill millions is okeedokee if it's for a noble cause like revenge? Whoops - did they really mean to have her do that?
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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 7:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

Well that's the problem Peter, it isn't just the Prophets. Assuming the mutants' methods are effective, there is zero reason to suppose that someone like Weyoun, with the vast resources of the Dominion, isn't capable of the exact same feats of prediction.

Indeed, I don't see it as a co-incidence that the writers chose to have the mutants base their predictions on the assumption of an *earth* based rebellion. That was intentional.

I don't care what methods the mutants were using, the whole enterprise turns to folly once other powers themselves employ similar methods to cheat the game.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

In the Foundation novels psychohistory was only successful at predicting (and manipulating) the future because several layers of control were established in two "foundations" who continued to manipulate events as they unfolded, sort of like steering a kayak down the rapids. That and something called the "prime radiant" whose function I only vaguely recall. The point being that psychohistory was not about just passively making predictions about the future from a boardroom.

But the mutants are just full of shit - and not just because of the prophets and other out of left field short term events. We know they were wrong because of what Weyoun said. He was going to eradicate earth's population. He said so. He was also fully capable of it - that would have been 100% consistent with the Dominion MO. Indeed, the Dominion had existed for 4,000 years and the Founders were masters of genetic manipulatiom. Why wouldn't they have the same predictive powers as the mutants anyway?

I'm reminded of Sisko's speech to the Prophets in Emissary about baseball and the unpredictability of linear existence. He was completely right. The mutants' predictions were always garbage. They could never have predicted the future. They weren't the Prophets.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

Chrome actually their predictions were already known to be false if you were paying attention up to this point. They predicated their recommendation to surrender on the premise that a rebellion would eventually arise on earth and overthrow the Dominion.

But we already know that Weyoun had anticipated this and planned to eradicate earth's population (in one of the most memorable interludes between him and Dukat).

I doubt that this was lost on the writers. I think we are meant to see through their predictions as flawed from the outset and their comments on the earth rebellion are a tell.
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Jason
Wed, Jan 30, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

Yeah, no. If Discovery was failing financially there's no way they'd be doubling down on new shows under Kurtzman. Businesses can't operate like that.

Also people can watch multiple shows. Are all space shows competing for existence? It sounds like they're filling different niches at any rate.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jan 30, 2019, 8:51am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

"I don't understand how anyone could think post-life will be any different than pre-life. Both are states of non-existence."

There was a TV scifi show called the Lexx where it was established that time had a beginning and an end and indeed, where time would restart again, with events proceeding exactly as they had in previous "cycles".

If the universe began as a singularity and exploded in a "big bang" only to collapse eventually into a "big crunch" back into a singularity, perhaps the cycle will reboot and we will live our lives again, just as we did the first time.

I concede it's a fanciful idea but not impossible if the universe behaves as some theories suggest. I find it a comforting thought in any event that maybe I will get to live my life again after untold eons.

One thing I always find interesting in these debates is that the theist posotion is necessarily abstract in the extreme. And understandably so. Talking about "god" in an abstract sense as some kind of vague universal consciousness is easy because it's non falsifiable. But the more specific you get the easier it is to dismiss claims (eg: resurrection, water into wine) as nonsense.

It is comforting to the religious Christian that a universal consciousness cannot be disproven versus any other theory but it ought not to be. As I mentioned, it gets you only as close to Jesus as standing on the roof and reaching your hand to the heavens gets you to the moon.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

"There is no evidence of a universal consciousness at work. 1000s of scientific disciplines have developed over the last few centuries, yet not one scientist has discovered anything that could be plausibly explained by the intercession of a deity, nevermind any evidence of a deity itself. "

If you accept the premise of a universe subject to internally consistent and predictable laws, then there wouldn't be. This would not be inconsistent with the existence of a deity and indeed, I presume many mainstream Christian religions are going in this direction, subject to an exception here or there.

Also if you accept the premise that the universe was a singularity at the moment of the big bang, it may simply be impossible to describe anything that existed before it - ever, regardless of scientific and technological advances. Behind this impenetrable curtain would dwell a small space for god.

I don't say these things to defend the idea of God as I am an atheist myself. But we should be careful not to overreach in our claims.

Frankly, a universal consciousness in the abstract is as good an explanation for the origin of the universe as I have heard. But of course it's also non falsifiable and of course, is as far away from Yahweh or Allah or Vishnu as the roof of my house is from the moon.
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Jason
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 11:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

Pardon me, because my English isn’t perfect, but from what I understand a “Mary Sue” is a fictional character who shows abilities that are unearned. Admittedly, Michael Burnham is a highly capable character, but she’s trained on Vulcan with the likes of Spock so there’s a reasonable, rather than irrational explanation for her abilities. She should be incredibly gifted in science, we should expect nothing less.

Nor is Michael Burnham the only part of the crew with incredible abilities. Stamets is a genius engineer who mapped out the mycellial network. Saru can learn to become a good commander just by research. Tilly, for her flaws, is quick to catch on, the youngest member of the command training program and can handle dangerous science experiments only Stamets himself would dare try. I don’t think I need to get into Pike, do I?

What I’m getting at is that ~all~ Starfleet officers are extraordinary, and when you start cherry -picking their outstanding moments and forgetting their failures, that semi-blind critical analysis of these characters comes off disingenuous.
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Jason
Fri, Jan 25, 2019, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

Space-based show fails basic astronomy, lol.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jan 24, 2019, 3:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

Burn'em I never said female fans didn't exist. Obviously they do and I have met some.

But okay I'll bite. How old are you and when you went to school, how many of your female classmates were trek fans? How about at work?

Not trying to argue at all - really am totally curious if my experience was typical. Totally admit I might be wrong.
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