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Jason Tyler
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Flip asked, "What actually makes Soji compelling?"

A few things come to mind:
- the actress and the character are very winsome. She's an engaging character even if you look at her as a human rather than an android.
- she is Data's legacy, and in part, Picard's too.
- Soji has super powers, but not so much as to make her invincible (as seen with Dahj's last stand). In fact, one of my disappointments with the season was that we didn't get to see her kick tail like Dahj. I bet we will if we get another season.
- her status (and Picard's) as an android open up some metaphysical/philosophical possibilities to explore.
- Kestra said it best, "You can have Picard and he can have you". They also set this up with him talking about the androids as children and needing someone to teach them how to live. Picard has never been very close to anyone (apart from in the Inner Light), and this angle as him as father figure deeply invested in his "daughter" (and vice versa) could be a very enjoyable angle to explore.

The hyper-critics throughout this season look only as far as the episode that has last played rather than to what they are also trying to set up for future episodes/seasons. This has been tiresome, especially as some of the points people have harped on have been addressed in subsequent episodes. (How much did we hear a flood of complaints about the EMH and its witness of the murder, and how it was glossed over - then in a later episode it ratted her out! Many such examples could be produced).
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

"Yeah, why should work be reduced to an economic transaction??! Crazy! I mean there are so many jobs who require more than 10 hours of work a day and pay absolutely nothing.
You see, I can make snarky comments, too."

I wasn't being snarky.

But if you insist on seeing being a stay at home parent as a "job" like plumbing or driving a bus, then it's understandable, if misguided, to see such people as "slaves".

Respectfully, do you know any stay at home mom's? Have you asked them why they chose to stay at home?
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 7:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

"What is your problem?"

None. I don't intend to beat a dead horse.

But it's of interest to me that on one hand, you're suggesting that being a stay at home mom or housewife is menial work, akin to being some kind of servant or slave at the man's behest, but on the other hand, their labour must be worth this fantastic sum of money.

Incidentally, I reject the entire premise that such "work" can be reduced to some economic transaction or that money should be the guidepost when assessing the choice to stay at home or not.
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

Booming, the Filipino people must be the richest in the world since such a large segment of their expats are pulling neurosurgeon wages. Their country must be like Wakanda by now with all that cash pouring in.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

Yes that would be a live-in nanny. We have them in Canada too.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

"@Jason
They were taking individual tasks and adding them up. Like cook, shopper, childcare and so on."

In other words, the tasks done by a typical live-in nanny. Incidentally, if that's 1972 currency then forget about a BMW, they'd be driving Bentleys.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

"I once read an old federal government report from 1973 and in it they estimated how much one would have to pay somebody to do all the jobs a housewife does. In today's money it would be around 5500€. It was a pretty sweet deal for men."

Haha. Umm ok sure. Full time live in nannies / housekeepers must be driving BMWs.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Quincy the Admonition wasn't mentioned for the first time until last episode.

Soji's secret identity and lack of insight into herself was the central axis of the entire first half of the series. Indeed the pilot was about her sister who also had no memory and was mysteriously "activated". Every mind numbingly boring scene on the Borg cube between Romulan Romeo and Soji, every insipid scene with his homicidal sister, revolved around how to extract Soji's lost memory, culminating in The Impossible Box, which was an episode devoted exclusively to Soji's amnesia.

Meanwhile, the other central axis of the series was the search for Bruce Maddox, whose lab was destroyed, on the run from Zhad Vash agents.

I'm gonna make a bet with you. None of this gets mentioned again. None of it matters. It was all just a complete waste of time. Whatever, a wizard did it.

It's the difference between Frodo not flying on the eagles to get to Mordor and Frodo not riding his Boeing 747.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"If Soji's amnesia was thrust front and center as the central mystery of the show, like the Zalkonian John Doe in the TNG episode, "Transfigurations," I might agree with you."

It's not some trivial or incidental thing. Her amnesia is literally the central plot point of the first 2/3 of the story.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Pretty neat Quincy. I guess we will never know because it will never be addressed in any fashion on the show.

Oh, and another one - why is Soji a "destroyer"? If the Admonition wasn't a prophecy what was it pertaining to? Did it describe an apocalypse in our galaxy? In some other galaxy?

I again doubt that any of this will be addressed in the show or if it's addressed, the explanation will create more plot holes than it fills. But maybe we can try to speculate.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 8:35am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"But has it completely sunk the show? I guess it depends on how much you need to have spelled out for you, and how soon. "

Tim we've already been down this road with other Mystery Box shows and movies. The answer is that things like why Maddux was on the run or even more fundamental questions like why Soji and her sisters lost their memories will never be explained. They will end up in the same foggy narrative trashbin as the reason why there was a map to Luke in The Force Awakens.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Lynos those are great questions. Another: just what was Soji's mission exactly? It is mentioned in the episode but I still can't explain it. Just as I can't explain why Maddux was on the run and needed to turn to gangsters for protection.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 4:33am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Picard isn't ineffective because he lacks a starship - that's baloney. He's ineffective because his words are vapid and unpersuasive (the latest example) or because everyone just disregards what he says anyway be because ok boomer (seven).

And you know I do think I know where the writers are going with this. It's all telegraphed in that sad little speech Picard gives where he tells them he's going to personally do this and that for them, he's going to be their advocate for the Federation.

And it's just so not Picard to be so transparently self-centered and egotistical. Just like it was not Picard to be arrogant and to not listen to anyone but himself the way every single damn character has been lecturing him every episode.

Because BINGO that's his arc. At the end he learns his lesson from the Romulan refugee debacle and realizes he can't save everyone himself that he needs to rely on others blabidee bla.

But you know here's my prediction. He's still going to suck in the end whether he learns a lesson or not. Other younger people are going to beat those terrible Romulan anti synth bigots (or whoever's the bigots of the week are going to end up being once the random plot generator finishes spinning) and Picard will say some nice words but he'll still be an ineffectual old man past his prime and not good for very much but I'm sure the others will pretend he's not.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"I can't see how that could in any way be said to present him as being befuddled, feeble, or doddering. Hasn't everybody been in that situation on occasion, sitting down at some bit of technology that has been "upgraded" so that its completely unfamiliar? Think of Windows 10 when it came out? And if the last time you had used a computer before being faced with that was back in the stone age at the start of the century?"

Do an experiment Geronitus: watch any Picard focused episode from TNG like The Defector or Sins of the Father or Measure of a Man. Then watch Picard's speech to the androids at the conclusion of the latest STP ep.

Can you honestly say it's the same character? Can you seriously imagine the Picard who faced down the Klingon High Council or argued for the Data's rights being this laughably ineffectual?

Then consider that he's called an "old man" in that very same scene, in the very episode where he reveals to his friends that he has space Alzheimers but not to worry because he's just fine.

Do we need to draw you a diagram?
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"It is an exaggeration but I do see where he's coming from, because the way Picard is treated on this show is disheartening. Someone suggested that it's because characters need to overcome challenges, but it doesn't feel like an "arc." It feels more like the show has contempt for it's own main character."

Bang on. Thank you Sir / Mam. Nailed it.

In the latest speech Picard comes across as this ineffectual fool. As you hear the speech you know it's falling on deaf ears - the telltale sign being that it's a garbage speech that's about on par with telling the androids he'll petition the Federation council to commission a committee to study the problem.

It's not even like the speech he gave to 7 which was warm and full of pathos and regret. She rejected his advice in that scene (and I'd argue the writers were spitting on Picard there too in a different way) but that was more of a WTF moment when she beamed down and started phasering everyone.

Here we know Picard is irrelevant be because his words are ridiculous - and what's more, the show is flat out signaling us that he's a useless fool. In the very next moment, (in case the message wasn't clear) the Android is dismissing him as an "old man" (the script's words, not mine!)

So what other conclusion are we to draw but that not only is Picard a doddering old fool, but that's how he's *written* to be?

And can you imagine Picard in his TNG prime years (or even circa Nemesis) being this way? What other explanation could there possibly be other than age having diminished him to a shell, a mockery of his former self? Are we the "ageists" here or is it the script? I put it to you that it's the latter.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"I also belive they said that Star Trek Beyond was the best movie of the new trilogy."

I was going to react to that statement with astonishment.

But then if someone claimed Leprechaun 3 was the best of that series, would I be able to muster outrage?
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"even if it bore any relationship to what we have been shown (which it doesn't)."

They refer to Picard as an "old man" in the episode when the Androids are tallying their resources. Even his speech is written to sound like hollow platitudes from a has-been (I will do my best to petition Starfleet bureaucrats to allocate resources to take up your cause in a Federation committee!)

They might as well have added "doddering" given the overall subtext of Picard's complete impotence to do anything to help anyone.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"But insofar as there is a parallel with current events there is no particular contradiction with the zhat Vash or Tal Shiar having significant military power and some Romulan refugees living in poor circumstances. As I said, look at our world. Syrian refugees live in squalor, but Isis in its day was very pretty powerful, controlling significant territory and effective military force."

I don't know that this analogy works but I'll bite - how many nuclear aircraft carriers, strategic bombers and tanks did ISIS have?

250 warbirds I will remind you is a HUGE fleet. That's Dominon War level stuff. In DS9 the Talshiar and the Obsidian Order could muster only a tenth that number to attack the Founders home world and that was a big deal that required months of planning and logistics to organize. Starfleet had only 39 ships at Wolf 359.

But ok fine, it's the remnant of the Romulan navy. Sure Romulan senators are living in squalor in Federation refugee camps but somehow they have an enormous space navy. Ok ok I'll bite. Let's say there are 200 crew per warbird - pretty conservative by Trek standards, so call that a measly 50,000 Romulan soldiers, including captains and other officers. What pray tell do they think their mission is? Since the Zhat Vash are literally a 4,000 year old secret society *within* an elite secret police intelligence group (the Tal'Shiar) I presume they didn't announce the purpose of their mission to the thousands of soldiers and officers manning that armada of ships. So what do they think they are doing attacking this random little colony in the middle of nowhere with this gigantic fleet?

Oh let me guess, the fleet is manned by 50,000 Zhat Vash operatives?

You see what I'm saying? The writers are just idiots. At every turn they make a mockery of logic and common sense. I mean they could have said it was a dozen warbirds or even three warbirds and for the story's purpose it wouldn't even have mattered. But it had to be ***250*** because WHAM!! We need to have a gigantic space battle! And it has to be the fate of the whole galaxy at stake!

I hate this kind of writing. Never mind Trek canon, this kind of writing will spit on it's own continuity from episode to episode. Nothing is consistent, nothing makes sense.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"deliberately engineered the situation that caused the Romulan rescue mission to be abandoned,"

Ya ummm speaking of that. I know the Zhat Vash are EVIL but couldn't they have framed synths for mass murder at any time in the decades they existed without sabotaging the rescue of *their own people*.

That was literally the only opportunity they had? Their one and only chance happened to co-incide with the Romulan rescue?

I know I know - just roll with it. Besides who cares about the Romulan refugees at this point. We're back to the Romulan Empire apparently, space armada and all.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

"
Personally, I don't see the problem with Synths being able to mind meld. In past episodes, they've explained to us that Soji is able to replicate biological functions of human beings such as eating, salivating, taste preference, and crying. If such physiological replications of humans are possible, why wouldn't synthetic replications of Vulcan functions also be possible?"

I actually agree to a point. But I also think that Peter G. is correct in pointing out that android's developing telepathy would be pretty amazing idea that ought to draw some commentary from the humans, some acknowledgement that this is pretty incredible. Instead it's treated like Data using the Vulcan neck pinch, like "mind melding" is just some skill you can pick up like meditation or yoga.

I guess the issue is it's like so much in this show - half baked and slapdash. Of course we know the reason androids can mind meld - because it was literally the only means they could think of to permit plot point A to get to plot point B. Just slap it together quick and dirty. Don't think too much, don't stop to consider, whatever Androids can mind meld, get with the program.

On it's own it would be fine I guess. But everywhere you look it's just these niggling things that begin to add up. Like the whole Romulans having a vast armada thing. When it's convenient for the plot they're huddling refugees, and then they can command vast fleets. The androids blow up Rios's ship because..... ummm... and yeah they can take on a Borg cube. But they can't handle the Romulans? And the Borg are now just some parochial B rated threat now? And omnipotent AIs need to wipe out the galaxy because ummm... evil? And Maddux was on the run from who and why again?

Everywhere you turn, every detail, every plot point, it 's all wrong, inconsistent, self contradictory, pointless, unnecessary, over the top.

And yet little things are good. Jeri Ryan is good. Hugh was good. I kind of liked the android colony.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

By the way, I am going to make a prediction: whatever happens, Picard is going to have almost nothing to do with the resolution, whatever form it takes. Picard will just stand uselessly on the sidelines while 7 and Soji save the galaxy. Anyone who is expecting him to do something important for the finale hasn't been paying attention.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

So the Romulans who were huddling refugees a la Titan AE not three or four episodes ago now have an armada of 250 warbirds?

I could rehash all the nonsense this show keeps piling on but others such as Peter G. Have already done a better job than I could. Individually each plot hole could be given a pass but together it's just really irritating.

But leaving aside such minutia for the moment, let me just ask the following question: Why is this show about Picard? Why is it called Picard? Each and every episode seems intent on telling us that Picard is a washed up useless old codger. Every episode ends with Picard utterly irrelevant and impotent to affect anyone.

So what is the point of revisiting this character and even centring the show on him? If the writers feel his character has nothing to offer the story except serve as some kind of punching bag while younger proactive characters like Soji and 7 basically do everything themselves, maybe he shouldn't even be there? Maybe he should have stayed in retirement.

I just don't understand what the showrunners think we are supposed to enjoy about watching a previously beloved character spat on episode after episode?
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Jason
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 8:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I know TOS established that at least a Vulcan could mind meld with a machine, but seeing it happen the other way around seems strange.
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Jason
Tue, Mar 17, 2020, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Some have complained about Picard being "feeble" or a "befuddled old man". To me, that is part of the appeal of the show, and something that makes it very different: That our hero is the only one who will intervene to save the day (since others more capable are unwilling), but he is in over his head (as he has said) because of his manifestly failing capacity. Therefore he recruits others to help, and does what he is able to do. He is still the prime mover and it is still his quest.

It may bother people to see Picard in this state, but anyone who lives long enough will find themselves feeble or sometimes befuddled. I like it, because here at least we have an element of realism. Surely no one expected the First Contact Borg-fighting Picard?
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 7:31am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Chrome, if you don't like a show it's pretty self-evident that you won't rewatch it. I accept the premise that not everyone liked previous incarnations of Trek ergo many do not rewatch those series.

What I meant by rewatchability is the likelihood that people who enjoyed the show the first time around would rewatch it.

This again goes back to the nature of serialized storytelling but I just doubt that too many will want to rewatch this even if they enjoyed it.
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