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Mike
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Is Risa like a prostitution planet or something? I don't get it.

Dax in a swimsuit was nice. I also think Leeta is smoking hot so I enjoyed her scenes. Other than that, I concur with the consensus: Gawd awful.
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Paul Hardwick
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

I watched this episode today for the first time since I was a kid and I was genuinely impressed with the build up. Very eerie setting and the kids playing havoc with the new grups by throwing things at them at singing the "nyah nyah, na nyah nyah" was just brilliant. When the zombie like creature first enters at the start when Bones takes an uncharacteristic interest in the wheel of trike was an excellent action sequence with some great (for the day) makeup.

The premise is both intriguing and absurd. With a little more care with the writing, perhaps allowing some better character development and maybe playing off the whole Kirk, Miri and Jand love triangle with more aplomb may have led this episode becoming a true classic.

Unfortunately we have some jarring dialogue (Bones : I've never seen so much bacteria, enterprise, send down some virus scanners!) and kirks final speech is pretty lame. The ending left me agog with the Enterprise leaving orbit and leaving the kids there on the planet!

So a great start to the episode but it doesn't meet its promise of a true classic.
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Bucktown
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs

"I cannot believe a race as obstinate, belligerent and primitive as the Klingons would ever have invented the wheel, never mind done anything useful with it. For them to be a warp-capable civilization is incredible. But anyway..."

Michael,

I forget where this came from precisely, but wasn't it established in canon in an earlier show that the Klingons stole all their advanced technology (including warp) from the Romulans? Of course the Romulans wouldn't have any kind of Prime Directive, and the Klingons becoming warp capable centuries before they naturally would explains a lot.
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Mike
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

Loved it! My favorite parts were Worf describing the Klingon war against the tribbles, “mortal enemies of the Klingon Empire”, the Klingons obliterated the Tribble homeworld, lol, I howled.
And Dax looking smoking hot in a Starfleet mini skirt. Thank the stars!
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Mike
Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

O’Brien went along with the alien body snatcher too easily, didn’t even ask who are you? Miles is savvier than that. Keiko should just go be a botanist somewhere.
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Mike
Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

I enjoyed this episode. I like Jake and I like Cirroc Lofton (guess I’m in the minority judging by other reviews).
I was waiting for Jake to save Bashir’s life at the end, go from coward to hero all in one episode, but I like how the writers didn’t take that route. Instead Jake saves everybody pretty much by accident, he confessed it all to Sisko at the end. I really like the bond between Sisko and Jake.
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Startrekwatcher
Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 2:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

Re: original Borg plan

The original idea was to open season two with the Enterprise discovering the Borg has destroyed the Romulan Empire and the crew discovering that the Romulans found a way to destroy the Borg cube

The crew were to run into more Borg and would need to figure out how the Romulans destroyed the first cube
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Stork1
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

This was a very good episode in my view. I'm glad others agree with me.
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Bucktown
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Jason R.,

I think Dr. Phlox's use of the word "evolved" is totally and dangerously incorrect. When he says a species is "more evolved" than another, it propagates the unscientific belief that evolution has an ultimate destiny, when in scientific reality, it does not. Evolution is based ONLY on genetic mutations that benefit survivability in a particular environment over those without the mutation. We're not all destined to become pure beings of light.

The words he could have used that would have been scientifically correct would have been "developed" or "complex." It's possible the Valakians may have had a more complex neurological system than the Menk. But it is IMPOSSIBLE for Phlox to know if a species' brain would become more complex generations down the line without the use of a time machine. The only argument I could see is by wiping out the Valakians, the Menk's prime benefactors who they relied on for survivability, would create a new environment where the Menk must adapt or die, possibly favoring resourceful Menk over the long run.

This episode gets 0 Stars purely for the garbage science alone. This episode may have even informed some people's personal understanding of evolution, which is almost unforgivable.

But this episode is not about evolution really. The story they wanted to tell (but also failed here as well) was about the origins of the Prime Directive and non-interference in other planetary races' development. Many people have stated here in the comments in respects to the appalling interpretation of the Prime Directive in this episode, so I don't need to go into it too.

But there was something here that could have worked and made sense as a morality tale for the need of non-interference, and they totally missed the opportunity. Everything in the episode is the same leading up to that conservation between Phlox and Archer. My change would have been Phlox couldn't find a cure. He's a doctor, not a cultural anthropologist, so of course he then pleads with Archer to still try to help them live (Hippocratic Oath and all). The Valakians had earlier asked Archer for their warp drive technology so they could go out on their own to see if another species can help them find a cure. Because of Phlox's urging and his own pain at seeing suffering, Archer reluctantly gives the Valakians the specs for warp drive to help them save themselves. But the Valakians prove incapable of handling this new technology in their current state of scientific development, where they unintentionally cause an anti-matter chain reaction, destroying the entire planet. Both Menk and Valakians are now wiped out. The Prime Directive is about culture, technology, and engineering and the need for a race to develop social ideas and these advanced machines on their own. It is NOT about watching people die until they magically figure out warp drive technology.

Yes, my proposed story change is a lot darker, but it actually is a story about the need for the Prime Directive that MAKES SENSE, both scientifically and culturally.
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Yanks
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 9:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"The Trouble with Edward" is streaming now.

Not as meaningful, wonderful or special as Q&A but I doubt we will ever get anything rising to that standard again.

All good fun though.
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sjdrake
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

I agree this was great fun to watch with a high entertainment value.

There are however a number of discordant points.

The introduction of Sonia Gomez was amusing but played no subsequent part in the story. I really don't think her presence was allegorical; it's not the Trek way, their social messages are pretty 'in-yourface' rather than allusive allegories more appropriate to a Tudor period portrait. It might have carried more punch if she'd been one of the 18 lost in the incident, but actually I saw she was engaged for three stories and dropped after two.

Guinan's prior relationship with Q was hinted at but sadly, never picked up which makes you wonder why the scene was there at all. Her odd defensive stance makes it seem more like a Harry potter type battle. Even more strange, Guinan knew all about the Borg but despite her close relationship with Picard, never saw fit to mention them or give the Federation a heads-up on them!

If Q hadn't taken the trouble, The Fed would have had no warning of them at all. Two years journey sounds a lot, but to a collective bent upon adding new species to their flock, it's nothing. If we could send a ship to the next star on a four years round journey, there would have been no shortage of volunteers and it would have been long accomplished.

Q always seems to me overall a beneficial entity, but the attitude of the Enterprise (and later Voyager) is quite unbelievable. Despite his incredible powers, he is always treated with undisguised contempt. Is that wise? Quite apart from the benefits he could confer (and which are almost always pointlessly spurned by the needy beneficiaries), he is one of the few beings (like the Dawd) with the power to annihilate at will. Remember what Kevin did to the Husnock? Presumably Q could do the same, so why not take the trouble to show a little respect? (It's pretty worrying to discover that teenage Q are no better than human teenagers....bye bye, world?)

The trouble with beings with virtually infinite power is what to do with them. In trek, they never seem to have wisdom appropriate, despite the fact they presumably have a several billion years head start on us. There seem to be few other Organians...
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Yanks
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Second Season Recap

Startrekwatcher
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 7:03am (UTC -5)

Agree. I'd compare ENT season 2 to DS9 season 6.

Both are wildly inconsistent. Some really great classic trek accompanied by some of trek's worst.

@ Iceman
Fri, Jan 5, 2018, 5:44pm (UTC -5)

"@Yanks-Your highest rated DS9 season was Season 5. You've rated Enterprise Seasons 1 and 2, and Voyager Seasons 1 and 2 above it. I can't fathom putting any seasons of Voyager or Enterprise above DS9, but maybe that's just me."

Good lord. Sorry Iceman, I usually don't miss these.

It is very subjective so sure. I also think my grading curve may have changed a bit. I may not be as harsh or critical now. DS9 was my first real go at this review/grading thing.

I do really enjoy ENT and VOY. I don't hammer them as hard as some/most do.
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Startrekwatcher
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 7:03am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Second Season Recap

The writers were doing so well in season one then they just seemed to not care any more. This and voyager season three are really some of the weakest seasons in Trek

Most episodes were uninspired. And I came away with feeling of Been There Done That, Been There Done That Better

Nothing new. Nothing entertaining .

Dawn and The Breach are pale imitations of TNG The Enemy

precious Cargo a poor rehash of TNG Perfect Mare

Vanishing Point weak copy of The Next Phase/Realm of Fear

Regeneration retread of Q Who and Identity Crisis

The apathy from this season doomed the series
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Startrekwatcher
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 3:21am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

2.5 stars

For a big event multi parter wasn’t very exciting. Very formulaic only thing that helps it rise above is the inclusion of the Tellarites, Andorians and Romulans

The Hoshi/archer bickering was fun.
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Simon Blake
Wed, Oct 9, 2019, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Here's my problem with Empire: tauntauns.

I love, love, LOVE tauntauns. The idea of having a domesticated furry tusked dinosaur to ride is fantastic. The problem is in the realisation. Normally, you'd expect a special effect to look good from a distance, and be a bit disappointing close up. But tauntauns are the opposite: close up, they are (to me) really convincing. When you see Luke and Han sitting astride the beasts, they look *real*. You can practically smell them. But then it cuts to a long shot, and what I guess is a stop-motion (go-motion?) model... which while it's nice enough, just looks like what it is - a little model. It's the least convincing bit of model work in the entire trilogy, and stands out a mile.

What's even more baffling is that in the special editions, they didn't seem to touch these shots at all. I was actually looking forward to them getting those sequences right after twenty years, finally making them look consistent with the close-ups using CGI... and what did we get instead? More Wampa, which nobody asked for.
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Yanks
Tue, Oct 8, 2019, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"There is nothing plausible in having huge empty spaces aboard a space ship. It's a silly design whose sole purpose is to wow the viewers with special effects without any consideration for in-universe practicality."

Don't agree here at all. How else are they supposed to work? .. are we beaming turbo-lifts from here to there now? We now have something workable, unlike before where it was all make-believe. It's not "all that much space either". There are junctions where one section of the ship meeting another, but other than that the "space" is just a little bigger than the turbo-lift itself.
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Yanks
Tue, Oct 8, 2019, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Dave in MN
Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)

"Why is the turbolift a roller coaster instead of a vertical shaft?

What's the deal with all cavernous empty space in the ship?"

Discovery gave us a plausible turbo-lift design. There are "shafts" all over the inside of the hull.

"They really needed an expert rock climber to save them? How could they design their turbo-lifts this way and have no contingency to rescue people .... unless you consider using THE TRANSPORTER!!! Bad scripting!!!!"

They needed time for Spock and Una to be alone. ... you know, more time for Q&A.

"Why is Spock so emotional?!"

Didn't you watch "The Cage"?

"Yikes, this was .... not good."

This was the most enjoyable 15 minutes of Trek I've had in decades.

Jammer really needs to make a "Short Treks" grouping like "Enterprise", TNG, etc... I think there is going to be a bunch of these to talk about.
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Luke
Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 9:44am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

So, nobody wants to do away with innocent until proven guilty but we should still just believe someone who (like Seven) claims to be a victim without any evidence.

Methinks there’s a contradiction there somewhere. Or does that make me a misogynistic Incel?
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Kyle
Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

If anyone is interested, google “Women at Warp” Episode 104 or google “Voyager retrospect reviews “ for a more current podcast on the topic, and some interesting links. False rape accusers are rare, but as the poster above said, not non existent and no one want s to do away with the notion of innocent until proven guilty. But the false rape accusers are rare and easily caught, where as many more real assaults are more likely not to get reported, and the victims have many decks stacked against them, which is a bigger problem. By the way, I lived through the nineties and I don’t remember repressed memory being a real crisis of our judicial system sending a whole generation of innocent men to the gulag and threatening to bring down our justice system. I do remember generations of victims of sexual abuse in Catholic Churches all over the world finally going public and beginning to find some justice and healing, which is still continuing today. So my sympathy and solidarity to all victims who have been afraid to come forward and haven’t been believed when they did, and have been put under more scrutiny and interrogation than the perpetrator. Which is why I find this episode troublesome.
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Kyle
Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 3:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I’m surprised by a lot of the ignorant misogyny here. Man hating feminists purport fakes rape stories all the time? I suppose the accusers enjoy all the shaming and interrogations and disruption a rape trial can do to their personal and professional lives. Lest you think it’s a feminist conspiracy, look at all the sexual abuse stories that have come out against Catholic priests in the last few years, abuse directed at men and women. I guess they were all lying too? Or in the military? People in power never violate people under their command or in a vulnerable position? Men never violate women? Whites masters never abused their slaves back in the day? You false rape paranoiacs are most likely a bunch of InCels and on the wrong side of history.
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Mark Antony
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

I love this episode, Tom Russ is an incredible actor and ,as others have said, very underused in ST Voyager.

After the meld you can actually see Tuvok beginning to lose his Vulcan control and when he finally does Tim Russ’s performance in his quarters and in the medical bay are first rate. Also the interaction between Russ and Dourif are excellent!

On another note I couldn’t help thinking while watching Crazy Tuvok in this episode, remember the DS9 episode where Worf is forced to fight Jem H’adar warriors in single combat I that Dominion prison? Imagine Crazy Tuvok in that scenario......
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Duhknees
Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Haven't read through everything everyone has said, because I know Voyager doesn't get much respect on this site, but I do want to add to jammer's commendation on Phillips' performance. I lost my brother to suicide many years ago, and when I talk about it to others now, they always ask the same question: Couldn't you see signs of it, before he did it? The answer is, of course, no, because suicides aren't like they are often pictured, emotional and desperate. They are, in fact, quite pleased with themselves for making a decision. The desperation occurs earlier; when it's gone, that's when they're dangerous. My brother seemed lighthearted, better than normal, because he thought he'd found a solution to his problems. Phillips shows that in this episode, that calm, frightening composure that often precedes a measured but deadly response. That did not come from the writing alone, I suspect. It made this episode much more poignant for me.
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akyra
Fri, Oct 4, 2019, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

Funniest line I have read all year:

Elliot writing the words “for the sake of concision,” In an apparent attempt to be concise
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Skeptical
Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Second Season Recap

Peter, I'd actually disagree that S2 of Voyager was one of being out of ideas, or just doing a show for the sake of doing a show (S3 of Voyager, on the other hand, I think definitely fits that pattern). For what it's worth, I think they were trying to be bold or to use the conceit of the show for new ideas, but the problem was usually in the execution.

They did try their hand at a season-long arc with the Kazon and the mysterious traitor. It may not have been a good showing (the traitor part in particular felt completely awful to me), but they were experimenting there.

As William said, Meld does fit with the unique concept of being away from any other support from the Federation. Other episodes that work with the Voyager conceit include Resolutions, Alliances, 37s, the Samantha part of Elogium, and (sigh...) Threshold. And after mentioning the last one, needless to say they weren't all winners...

The writers did try some bold ideas I think, including Tuvix, Deadlock, and, ugh, again... Threshold. It wasn't just uniform blandness and making episodes via checklist, they were trying to come up with something to say! Or at least the premise of some of them seemed that way.

The writers did seem to go for one last push at setting up the characters according to the bible they were given. Chakotay got one strong push with the Indian nonsense in Tattoo. Paris being a flirt and a rogue gets brought up with his spat with Neelix. They tried to make the Ocampa more interesting than just a little pixie girl with Cold Fire. They pushed Kim's youthfulness and homesickness front and center with Non Sequitur. Of course, the main theme of all of these is that they ALL failed. And seemed to be part of why characterization essentially stalled for most people on the show afterward, since everything they started with ended up crashing and burning so spectacularly. But they were still trying here.

Essentially, I'd say S2's fault is a lack of execution, not a lack of attempt. This seemed to lead to an aimless S3 before the show got retooled into Star Trek: Seven of Nine (guest starring Janeway and the Doctor).
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Skeptical
Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Enemy

Springy, I definitely agree that it was an excellent choice to have Worf stay firm. From what I understand, one of Roddenberry's rules for the show was that there would be no internal conflict among the crew, which if kept would have made for a very boring series. I know Piller tried to keep things within the Roddenberry box, but it works so much better when you flat out break it at times that it makes sense, and Worf sticking with his Klingon side in this case is one of them.

I think I'm just happy whenever an alien actually acts like an alien rather than a human with one exaggerated characteristic and some silly putty on their forehead. What's the point of a space opera if everyone acts all the same?

I was actually thinking of this situation a few days ago randomly. I know the writers probably didn't put more thought into it than "Worf hates Romulans, so he refuses to help them." But I was wondering if a plausible case could be made that it is more than that.

I've been becoming very receptive to the idea that one alien aspect of Klingons is that they are more in-tune with their animalistic bodies and instincts than we are. When we think of who we are, our self, we usually think of our minds, our personalities. But to Klingons, their Klingon-ness is a key part of who they are. I think this is most clear in Birthright [Spoilers Alert!]. The Klingon kids were curious about Klingon traditions and cultures, yes, but that wasn't what made them rebel. It was simply that one kid going on a hunt. Not honor. Not war. Not anything we normally associate with being Klingon. But an instinctual, physical, animalesque endeavor. It gave him a purely biological high, something he had never experienced before. And it made him feel more alive than he had ever felt before, awakening his sense of self to the point that he couldn't go back to the half-life he was living without his animal side. It was a purely physical response; no culture needed.

Or consider K'Ehleyr, who has absolutely zero respect for Klingon culture or civilization. And yet, IIRC, she got just as involved in Worf's calisthenics program as Worf did. Became just as in-tune with her animal side. Whereas when Riker went through it, he clearly wasn't feeling it like that. To hunt, to be hunted, it's a part of Klingon life at a more basic, fundamental level than even honor or glory. That is the trapping civilization uses to codify and redirect the Klingon's animalistic, adrenaline-seeking ways. But it is biologically ingrained into them.

(Even B'Elanna, when she started suffering from depression, self-medicated by seeking an adrenaline high).

OK, so I'm pretty convinced of that, that a pure instinctual response is part of Klingon biology and way of living. And admittedly, this next part may be a stretch. If they feel that their bodies are more important to who they are than we humans do, perhaps they also think of their precious bodily fluids as being a greater part of themselves than we do?

I'm not saying intellectually they don't understand how the body works, but simply that the body (at least while alive) is more sacred to them than it is to us, for lack of a better word. We use blood as a symbol or metaphor for life, of course, but perhaps they take it deeper?

In Sins of the Father [More Spoiler! Weird writing that when it's 30 years old...], Kurn taunts Worf by saying that his blood has been thinned, and is not true Klingon blood. It's the clearest evidence of my hypothesis here, using blood as a symbol for Worf's personality, his life. Worf's physical blood is equivalent to who he is. If he is no longer Klingon, then his blood is diluted.

I know, I know, we use the heart as a metaphor for emotional state, and have no problems with understanding that it is just a metaphor. I'm sure they understand that too, intellectually. But if their instincts and animalistic ways and adrenaline are a key part of their personhood, then they may see that being pumped through their veins as a key part as well.

(Also, I know this is about a ribosome transplant and not a blood transfusion, but the idea of a ribosome transplant is stupid so we're going with the obvious analogy).

Meanwhile, we also know that Klingon culture is very ritualistic in many respects. We've seen some of the rituals. Let's look at two important ones [La-dee-da, Spoilers Away! I hope someone who reads this hasn't actually seen the rest of TNG and thus justifies these warnings....] 1) in Redemption, Gowron returns Worf's honor by letting Worf grasp his knife, spilling his blood, and 2) When Worf and K'Ehleyr were about to take the oath on the holodeck, Worf pushed her fingernails into her own palm, spilling her blood.

See, two intense rituals, one dealing with honor and the other dealing with love, both involve the willing donation of blood. Showing your physical blood to the tribe or to your mate, showing your true personality. The blood is a part of who they are.

Basically, what I'm saying is that if you or I go down to the Red Cross and drop off a pint of blood, we don't think of it. It was our blood, now its out there, and who cares that it's going inside some random person we'll never meet? But for a Klingon, who sees themselves inside their blood, the sharing of precious bodily fluids or ribosomes is an intensely sacred and personal act. Even outside the body, it is still theirs. Their being is still present in the blood.

Thus, demanding that one's blood (or ribosomes) be placed inside a stranger could be considered a deep violation of Worf's body and personhood, and even worse if it is given to an enemy. If so, it would be no suprise that Worf refused to see the human side of the issue, even if he 100% understood it. One cannot choose to violate oneself in such a way.

Again, I know this wasn't the intent. But I'd like to think that there was a deeper meaning here than just "look at the stupid racist security chief who can't get over daddy dying, what a loser!"
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