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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 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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