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Joseph S
Fri, Jan 13, 2017, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

ARCHER: We're not going to make a habit out of it.
T'POL: Once you rationalize the first misstep, it's easy to fall into a pattern of behavior.

I thought this dialogue was beautifully written, though maybe a little over the top because, c'mon, shattering a data pad on Archer's desk? Even with Trellium addiction?

But then I realized that her words are as much about her, as they are about Archer's decision. Later she tells Phlox exactly how she rationalized her first missteps into experimenting with Trellium, and how she fell into that pattern of behavior, into that habit. She slams the pad, not because she's mad at Archer or at the situation, but because she's mad at herself. And that's what makes her realize she had to get help.
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Joseph S
Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

While watching this episode today, I noticed that Seven of Nine misspeaks the stardate as "15781.2" instead of "51781.2." Apparently neither the producers nor even Memory Alpha caught the error, as the latter quotes Seven's log entry with the correct stardate.
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Joseph S.
Sun, Mar 9, 2014, 10:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

Just saw this episode for what I think is the first time. I watched TNG in the 90s, and then on Netflix, but I guess I missed this one. And that's a shame because it was very well done—a quiet, but deep episode. I loved the references to The Inner Light and how it deepens Picard's character.

I also have to give praise for the writing of Nella's character. Usually one-time guest characters with a major role in their one-time appearance are so lazily written, that you don't care about them because you know you'll never see them again. But at the end of the episode I realized I would miss Nella, and that's such a testament to Wendy Hughes, and her work portraying such a likable character. A fitting way to remember her after her passing yesterday. May she rest in peace.
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Joseph S.
Sun, Feb 23, 2014, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

I'm with Mikael and Niall—I really liked this episode. It made me tear up as a kid, and I never forgot it.

I thought the story was effective because it knew from the beginning what it wanted to say and, in my opinion, wasted no time in getting there. At the same time, it still managed to make balanced use of characters not central to the story.

I have to praise Sirtis' and Barrett's performances, which I found absolutely convincing. "It was on the edge of overboard but stayed in line" sums it up for me. Losing a child has to be a traumatic, melodramatic, and emotional experience so if the episode approached "overboard" at times, kindly remember that real life might rightly have exceeded this.

At times, it was also skillful in its execution. Somewhere along the way, we're led to believe that if Deanna (and, by extension, we) can just see what Lwaxana's hiding, then she will get better. But we never actually see it. *Lwaxana* has to tell it to her daughter. She can't just let the images come before her (like the family picnic scene), nor can she communicate them to her daughter as a mere telepathic bystander (like she communicated with the Cairn). No, she has to confront the event by narrating it herself. She never needed to see it again in detail; simply acknowledging it brings healing and closure. In turn, this preserves Kestra's dignity by not having her tragic death depicted on screen.

All in all, I welcome this added depth to Lwaxana's heretofore annoying character. It made me better understand the probable origin of her overbearing tendencies. The sci-fi aspect of course is fiction, but stories like these sadly do occur in real life.
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Joseph S.
Thu, Jan 16, 2014, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Life Line

On that note, may I give a special word of praise to the actress who played "Haley", Tamera Craig Thomas.

Note the apparent contrast between her face and her voice when she confronts Zimmerman on his view of holograms. Her face remains, with a few slight exceptions, somewhat emotionless, expressionless. Her gaze as she recites the date when Zimmerman canceled his lecture on Vulcan is as if she were simply reading a log entry.

But her voice has such a deep, wounded cry to it, as if she were about to burst into tears at any moment. And even here, what does she do? She doesn't raise her voice, but continues speaking meekly, humbly, and then physically approaches her creator—as if, even though he's "offended" her, she still wants to be close to him because she cares for him so much, with an innocent and childlike love, and even knows the kind of man he truly is, or can be.

It's not every day that a guest star can believably pull off such a wide range of emotion. Well done!
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Joseph S.
Thu, Dec 26, 2013, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Riddles

I totally agree with Jammer that the ending was too subtle. Tuvok should've thanked Neelix at the end, just as others above commented. It wouldn't have had to be emotional; in fact, I think it would've been more poignant to have an unemotional Tuvok simply say: "Mr. Neelix, I must express my gratitude for your assistance while I was incapacitated." I definitely see where the writers were going, but I think that being more direct would've had a deeper payoff.

I also have to hand it to Ethan Phillips in this episode. I got the sense several times that Phillips wanted to portray Neelix as feeling guilty over Tuvok's attack. When Tuvok became despondent in sickbay, Phillips' facial expressions made me think there would be a follow-up scene where Neelix just let it all out, saying that, because his unwillingness to let Tuvok have his peace and quiet led Tuvok away from helm control and right into his attacker's grasp. I actually thought that scene would be with Seven of Nine, but alas. What a missed opportunity to add rare depth to this character.
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Joseph Soltero
Tue, Aug 27, 2013, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

I think the reason that the Clown so easily accepted Janeway as the sole hostage (after earlier refusing to remain with only one because that one could get sick or die) is that Janeway is new to him.

Up to this point, he's known the minds of only the five aliens, but after a decade, he may have grown tired of them. Perhaps that's why he killed two of them—in part to punish them for trying to leave, but in another part in order to give the remaining three a fresh experience of fear. You can even see the Clown's reaction when he first starts sensing Janeway's mind, almost like a euphoric high from a drug.

If I'm right, though, I do wish the writers had made the reason clearer.
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Joseph S
Tue, Oct 30, 2012, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Like Fortyseven said above, I also missed DS9 when it originally aired, thinking it was going to be boring because it took place on a space station and couldn't go anywhere. In fact, I remember thinking that they brought in the Defiant *because* they finally needed to use the 'trek' element.

How wrong I was.

Starting in January of this year, I've consumed episode after episode of this wonderfully written series. I still love TNG, but DS9's characters are so intricately written and developed, that a character can say or do something in Season 7, and instantly the viewer recognizes the allusions stretching all the way back to Season 1.

I did have one problem with the finale, though it in no way detracts from my love of the series. Yes, DS9 started with the mission of restoring order on Bajor and bringing it into the Federation.

But the series also started with the love of a father and a son. I really wish Jake and Benjamin had had a final scene together. After all, Jake lost his mother despite her will; now he's about to lose his father *because* of his will. It would've been so touching to hear Benjamin comfort his son, telling him that his new perception outside of linear time reveal to him that Jake will be a successful writer; that Benjamin knows how much Jake loves him, and what Jake would do for him (e.g., The Visitor); and that now Jake must let his father go be who *he* needs to be.

It just goes to show how great this series was—that, even though of course this could've happened off-camera, I'm still left with the feeling that I needed to see that.
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Joseph S
Mon, Jun 25, 2012, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

As I was watching the episode, I kept noting the times that Bashir would comment on how Trevean has lived longer than anyone else without quickening - and about halfway through, I started to fear that the episode was going to take another route: namely that Trevean has had the cure all along, but maybe he's a Dominion operative, or a Founder, or maybe was threatened by either or both of these into hiding the cure, or God knows what else. And I'm SO glad the writers didn't choose to go there. It would've cheapened the message of this story, which is one of hope. Well done!
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Joseph S.
Tue, Jun 15, 2010, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

It did sound silly to hear that the difference between believers and heretics here is that the former believe the Chosen Realm was made in nine days and the heretics in ten. But as a religion major, I'm forced to consider some beliefs that equally may sound silly to us, but have formed irreparable fractions, like:

1) In Christianity, does the Holy Spirit proceed only from the Father, or from both the Father and the Son?

- How can anyone purport to understand the Divine? But this seemingly small matter contributed to the division of the Eastern and Western Churches, which continues to this day.

2) Does Jesus Christ possess two natures, a human and a divine, that then fuse together in him? Or is it one sole nature that is both human and divine at once?

3) At what precise moment does the bread and wine in the Christian Eucharist become Jesus' literal body and blood? Or do they ever become so literally? Or is it simply symbolic?

- I don't think I have to mention all the blood spilled over THAT one.

I agree the line isn't delivered in the best way, but it does in a very real way mirror some of our history.
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