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Jean Luc
Sat, May 30, 2020, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

This could have been something. Instead, it is an utterly vacuous episode that avoids all the interesting moral issues related to its subject. It's even worse that it was aired during a massive nationwide debate about human cloning.

By the end, the clone is expected to just meekly submit to be killed and harvested for his tissues so that Trip can be revived. So what exactly is this episode saying? Sentient life forms are now expendable if it helps the cause? I know this isn't Picard, but this is out of character even for Archer.

Bad writing, implausible story, no philosophical reflection whatsoever. This isn't just "not Trek," it's the Anti-Trek. It also doesn't advance the larger story arc of this season. Totally worth skipping -- zero stars.
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Jean Luc
Sat, May 30, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

This is a bad episode, but I'm kind of surprised at how much hate the concept gets -- Jammer calls it "just plain stupid," apparently unaware of the original story underpinning it.

Draco was one of the early lawmakers of Athens. According to Plutarch, he set death as the penalty for all offenses. His reasoning was that lesser crimes deserved death, and he could think of no harsher punishment for the more serious crimes.

Like another commenter, I really did like the juxtaposition of ultra-hedonism with totally unreasonable, inflexible legal system as its ultimate guarantor. If we could have a nearly perfect society -- a pleasurable utopia in which everyone is honest and law-abiding and has unlimited time for recreation -- would it be worth it if it meant living under such an unreasonable, ludicrous legal system? IMO that's a philosophical question worthy of Star Trek.

Unfortunately, this idea doesn't get a very fair shake. The campy and over-sexually suggestive welcome. Lt. Yar saying their laws are "Fairly simple, common sense things" -- but oh, she overlooked that bit about death to all criminals. Uh...okay.

Much worse is this contrived debate over the Prime Directive, which should have nothing to do with this. The Edo literally watch these tourists from another planet beam down from a starship in starfleet uniforms and communicate with Enterprise using com-badges. There is no effort at all to conceal their alien origin or the fact that their ship is in orbit. Picard even brings one of them up to the ship.

So, in what way does the Prime Directive apply here? If it ever did, then they violated it a thousand different ways before getting to this point.

This is some new reading of it the Prime Directive that never existed in TOS. The Prime Directive often comes up as a plot device in the various Star Trek series, but this is just an abuse of it. I can understand that Wesley's transgression creates a diplomatic fiasco for the Federation and Picard, but it seems bizarre to me that the Prime Directive is brought into this story at all.

In sum, I think this episode raises a serious, challenging, philosophical quandary about law and society, then falls completely flat in trying to resolve it. 1.5 stars.
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Jean Luc Rikkard
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

I have disliked this show overall but the last two episodes have been better. Especially this one. This one actually felt more like Trek in that it was a bit more upbeat and less dystopian. It was nice to see Troi and Riker again, and their family felt genuine and their daughter was well acted and cast. Picard felt a bit more like Picard for once and it was good to spend some actual time with the crew.

The relationship between Picard and Soji seems to be working which is a relief because that's obviously a major part of the show going forward.
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