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Joshua
Sat, Sep 1, 2018, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

One thing that comes to mind that is a kind of fridge brilliance is how the 'probability device' acts. Machines generally aren't designed to be unpredictable; I can assume that it is designed to alter probability (or even shift their quantum state) to one of if not the most unlikely occurrences in the current time. However, given that it is supposed to consistently make improbable occurrences more probable, eventually, it will backfire. The more often something happens, the more unlikely the opposite will occur. If you win the lottery 90% of the time, that 10% of losses will be the improbable factor; the little machine is GOING to make you lose eventually.

The designers of the device were certainly brilliant, and I do wish it was played with a bit more.
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Josh
Thu, Aug 2, 2018, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

As far as I'm concerned, DS9 can keep its Maquis. I wasn't sorry to see them disappear from VOY. I never really understood what their gripe with the Federation was in the first place - but politics was never one of DS9's strong points anyway.

Season 1 was the best VOY in spite of the Maquis, not because of them. I don't know what happened after that and why the show declined so badly, but it wasn't for want of more Maquis episodes.
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Joshua
Sat, Jul 14, 2018, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

I don't really understand all of the complaints I see here about Bashir 'easily' being able to cure the effects of the Harvesters. The guy literally spent nearly 400 attempts to neutralize the weapon and succeeded. I don't really see how it's impossible that, in knowing how to neutralize them from the experiments, he could cure it as easily as a flu. It's like knowing exactly how to cure a disease, and the Harvesters are chalked up as another one.
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Josh
Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 12:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Necessary Evil

Great episode. Just wanted to say that the guest actress portraying the femme fatale was really good. Her vocal presence especially.
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Josh
Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

I kinda think this episode could have worked if Geordi had displayed some - even a bit - of insight into the pattern he'd fallen into yet again. I don't even mind the eventual romance (if the actress had been better and had some chemistry with Burton...). But the development is all too pat and simplistic, with Aquiel playing too much of a "manic pixie dreamgirl" stereotype (at least in her logs, and oddly well before Garden State).

It's funny because it's not as though Geordi is incapable of having a friendly but non-creepy relationship. Even if platonic, that's just what he had with that one in "Identity Crisis". The episode could have been a whole lot more interesting if Aquiel had actually been an acquaintance or friend (or more) from Geordi's past, maybe someone he never knew well. Gets to know her finally through her logs, *feels* and maybe mourns her presumed death, and then has more reason both to defend her when she does appear, with a much better developed romance.

Now I don't know that Renee Jones and Burton really had the chemistry to pull this off, but maybe that reflects the weakness of the writing rather than the actors themselves.

Anyway, it's still something of a clunker, but I don't really cringe through any scenes (as compared to, say, season one or even much of "Galaxy's Child").
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Josh
Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

Yay. Michelle Yeoh's back! She was the best thing about the pilot and a great shame she wasn't a regular. So it's great to have her back, even in a delightfully campy autarch role rather than the excellent captain role she was in, which was far and away the most endearing character.

These two episodes are the first ones I actually wanted to watch again. Curiously enough, it is by moving into this grim universe, that the Trek optimism can actually return because of the theme of maintaining their Federation soul amidst the darkness. This is the most Trek like use of the mirror universe since the original episode because that theme is being revisited, but only more deeply.

Maybe we'll look back on this show and think that it took a half season to find its footing. For a Trek show that is actually pretty good going. But unlike the first half season, which was lame, so far this half season, they have my attention.

But that Klingonese sucks. I don't know what they're doing, given I'm sure it's the Okrand language soon to be coming to Duolingo, but it sounds weird in this show and Tyler sounds and looks silly saying it.
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Josh
Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

Agree with others this augment trilogy was entertaining but flawed. But how can people praise Cold Station 12 yet complaint about this finale for its cardboard characterization? CS12 made it clear Malik was a psychopath, the other augments were going to follow him to whatever end; and that they were going to turn against Soong who did have a moral core. I think the trilogy would have been more interesting if the augments were kick-ass but not evil; that would have been a real conundrum for Archer.
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Josh
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 10:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

@John Harmon:

The real question is why Tyler's identity hasn't yet been unmasked by Lorca's tribble.
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Josh D
Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Invasive Procedures

So we have an episode where DS9 is evacuated again where it was already evacuated in the previous episode... Not so smart writing.

Quark goes unpunished for dealing with mercenaries and letting them on DS9 which lead to Dax getting her abdomen cut open and nearly killed. It's completely forgotten about and it's business as usual next episode.

This is my first time watching through DS9 and I hope it gets better.
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Josh
Sat, Jan 6, 2018, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Storm Front, Part I

At this point, I am getting burned out by this constant string of overwrought conflicts forced on our heroes by bargain-basement villains. Dolim and his ridiculous costume. The Guardians. Now these alien Nazis. I hope Jammer's interpretation is right that this is the end of the interminable Temporal Cold War.

I really wanted to see some consequences to Archer's more questionable decisions in the expanse. What happened to the Illyrians? Forcing Hoshi to do some cryptography BS despite her "neurotrauma"? I guess that was not a big Dgiven she rushes to hug Archer when he returns to the bridge.

Jammer also unwittingly exposes a huge flaw in the episode when he talks about how the Nazi occupation forced Americans to band together and overcome their ethnic prejudices. Give me a break. If the Nazis did invade America, they would just as easily found collaborators who would be willing to do all the policing and ethnic cleansing and genocide, just like they had in Europe. This episode just pandered to American self-conceit by showing Nazis as solely foreign occupiers.
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Josh
Sat, Jan 6, 2018, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

It seems to me the obvious solution would have been to detach the hull plating under the mine, then scoop it and Reed up into the cargo bay. They then could have gotten the hell out of there and disarmed the thing taking as much time as they wanted.
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Joshua
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Looking back on this episode, I have to wonder if Section 31 ever offered Dr. Russell a job.
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Josh
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 10:15am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

I agree with the haters here. There were too many plot contrivances that serve to make us (a) feel sympathy for Sim and admire his sacrifice and (b) make Archer's decisions come off as not that bad. These plot contrivances include:

(a) the idea of a clone going through a full human life cycle in 15 days - it doesn't really matter if you kill him to save Trip, he's going to die anyway
(b) the idea that Phlox thinks he could have done the transplant without killing the clone and then realizing too late he was wrong - serves to put the best possible gloss on Archer's initial decision to do the cloning in the first place
(c) the crud accumulating on Enterprise's hull that puts the ship in mortal danger - they really have to go with the procedure or else everyone will die SOON
(d) the ludicrous notion that Sim inherited Tripp's memories--it basically means Sim is Tripp and not someone with the mentality of a newborn infant, so he is given character, we respect his courage and feel sorry for him.

Basically this episode took the easy way out so characters can do horrific things without recognizing it. Think about how the episode would have played out if instead of this ridiculous cloning scenario, it turned out a crew member could donate their organs to save Trip, and it came down to Archer ordering them to do so, even if it meant killing them. That would have real consequences, both for the characters and for the viewers' ideas about them.
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Josh
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

The American obsession with the combination of peanut butter and jelly fascinates me. I like both in a sandwich (assuming the jelly in the sandwich that Kelly was eating was more like jam, as it appeared) but together?

Food culture evolves relatively fast. 100 years ago most British people were eating a mixture of animal innards for most meals. In 500 years I'm fairly confident that children will find something more palatable to snack on than PB&J.
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Joshua
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

It's arrogant for flesh and blood beings to say that, just because AI are programmed, they know how they work, then it means that they are lesser-class lifeforms. There is no mystery involved in their creation, meanwhile, humanoids are a mystery! Our evolution was processed over billions of years! Our brains are impossible to manipulate on such a level! Therefore, we are superior beings that can create life and toss it away just because they're not the same, and that we have the ability to, makes it so.

Going on an extreme end, how do you think the Q see humanoids and other intelligent life? The Q have shown the ability to rewrite, toy with, and utterly erase people like us and our brains, our memories, our function, and yet, despite their superior knowledge, they treat fleshies like actual lifeforms, allowing them to evolve and flourish. And humans call themselves enlightened.

AI prejudice is a pretty tired trope I've seen over the years, but hopefully there will be a nicely written story for their acceptance in society in ST someday!
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Josh
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

I'm not as thrilled with the episode as everyone else, but it was enjoyable.

I think the main problem was that the resolution felt entirely unearned. We've seen very little of this war - eight episodes following one ship. During that time we never really saw the larger ramifications of the war, except for the episode defending the mining colony and another random ship being destroyed. The rest of the time it was always admirals telling Lorca how badly it was going. We never feel the gravity of the situation, the pain and anguish, the Klingons taking lives we care about or the possibility of the Federation being conquered or destroyed.

And then we have a scene with swelling music over Burnham saying "It's done. It's over." as if we had just witnessed Frodo carrying the ring to Mordor or the Rebels defeating the Empire. Those moments earned their epic triumphs. Here, I did not feel a thing.

This might be okay for a more episodic series like Voyager, but for a series that prides itself on being continuous I expect more.
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Josh
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

@Ubik

I really do not think it is that simple. Where does "control" begin and where does it end? There are women and men who have incredible sexual magnetism, whether by pheromones or by charm, to the point that people find it hard to resist feeling very attracted to them in their presence.

Do we really have the control that we are led to believe? It is unfortunate the episode didn't touch more on this issue. The legal system simplifies the way biology works to make sure people are not taken advantage of sexually. In biology, things aren't so simple. The body reacts biochemically to the sensory impressions of a person to whom one is attracted. Not just pheromones, but someone's appearance, how their voice sound, their intelligence and how they express themselves. If there is enough attraction there, our cultural norms embedded in the memory engage the rituals leading up to sex.

Free will is simply a legal and philosophical convenience - neurobiology has essentially already disproved it. What our culture and legal system counts as consent takes place after the body's chemistry has done its work. The natural processes leading up to the giving of consent is no different from what we see between Darulio and his "victims".

Legally, the Captain and XO have consented. What makes Cosby's victims different? They were put to sleep by drugs, physically unable to consent. There is a world of difference.
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Josh
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

@Lobster Johnson
Did the ambassadors sleep with each other? I must have missed that.
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Josh
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

@Lobster Johnson

As I understand it, that was a synthetic pheromone based on Darulio's physiology. And we do not see the ambassadors engaging in any sexual assault.
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Josh
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

The suggestions that Darulio "drugged" the Captain and XO are way off the mark. Think about how consent works in our own society. Two people meet. They are affected by the appearance, personality and pheromones of each other. Then they may decide, at some stage, to sleep with each other. How is the situation in this episode any different in principle? It's not. There's no suggestion Darulio even intended to seduce either of them (and even if he did, what's wrong with that?). Decisions to consent are always mediated by pheromones, by perfumes and colognes, by makeup and affectations, by behavior intended to seduce. We don't consider any of this "wrong" when it leads to someone wanting to sleep with another. If Darulio's conduct in refusing to turn down either of them was wrong and illegal, then practically all instances of consent to sex between humans are null and void.
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JoshH
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 4:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

You can't introduce everyone in the first episode. When did we find out O'Brien was married to Keiko? That Picard had a brother in France?
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Josh
Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 10:59am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

Honestly if this is the show being "pretty alright" let alone the "best" so far, then it's in big trouble. As I said, I don't get what this is supposed to be. And I thought the whole "practical joke" of amputating a leg was too over-the-top to be funny. It doesn't get any less memorable or original than this.
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Josh
Thu, Oct 5, 2017, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

This is the first episode of The Orville I've watched and... it's really pretty bad. The acting is wooden and the tone is far too uneven and light for there to be any dramatic tension. Charlize Theron's performance was about as phoned in as it can get. I don't really get what this is supposed to be. All that's leaving aside the derivative plot and pedestrian characters. As it stands, this was a mix of TNG's "A Matter of Time" with a bit of VOY's "Hope and Fear". But much worse. The Isaac character is something of a mean-spirited Data by way of The Day the Earth Stood Still. The whole business with Mercer and his ex-wife and the strained "love triangle" involving Pria was the lamest of lame sitcom plots.

I will say that the score was pretty fantastic for a TV show. But the sets look cheap, none of the actors seem rise above the level of an SNL skit, and the plot was dull.
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Josh
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

I am surprised at how much my take on the episodes is at variance with Jammer's take and I still think 11:59 from Voyager is the worst of the franchise but man he hits it on the nose here. This is definitely worth the zero stars Jammer gives it.
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Joshua
Wed, Sep 6, 2017, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Alice

If an episode bores you this much, maybe spare us the boring review. You can only type "meh" in so many different ways. Or come up with interesting things to say about the mediocre episode. Not to criticize anything grander, but this review seems as forced as the episode.
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