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LukeM
Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

Odo moves open cargo bay door: "Everybody grab onto something secure!"

Entire command staff of DS9 grab onto the flimsiest, least secure boxes in the Star Trek universe.
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Luke M
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 4:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

Forget the mud bath, what the hell was that bit about Picard and Co staying on the bridge with no oxygen? "Oh hey Data, we might pass out but just... you know... keep going." It's like zero tension for something that's quite serious!
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Luke M
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

I had never seen "Cost of Living" before today and I can kind of tell that in context of what people generally like about TNG, this episode could be considered below par.

But... I think I enjoyed it? I don't know why? TNG has this thing that no other Star Trek series has: a touch of The Love Boat (a terrible, cheesy show from the early 80s) and it's on display here. I think it is kind of integral to the aesthetic of TNG and one of its unique features so I have learned to love it. Maybe the later Star Treks needed it? Stuff like Voyager, Enterprise and Discovery definitely seem to be missing something, maybe the cheese factor is it.

I mean, you tune in for Picard vs the Borg at warp 9 and you get Laxwana Troi teaming up with Alexander Worf. And then they go to some weird 1960s commune. It's so kooky that I was kind of digging it. The silent head in a bubble, the two people arguing, the juggler who eats his balls ... it was nightmarish but perhaps in the 24th century that's the entertainment people need to keep sane. Who knows?

Often the "monster of the week" is boring but even by TNG standards, the metal termites are so half-hearted I genuinely laughed when they first appeared in the corridor behind Picard and Riker to a sinister stab of music. Gasp! Some glitter! Kind of moving! It's a threat! We promise! It was a relief not to have to take it seriously for once. I felt liberated.

I was also struck at how amazing Laxwana's costumes were in this ep (except the first wedding dress) but then reading afterwards was still surprised to see this episode, THIS episode, won two emmys, one for costumes. Technically it's one of the most critically successful episodes of all Star Trek of all time. OF ALL TIME.

And come on, Troi in the mud bath with her gigantic wedding do? It's one of the great little character moments in her entire run. Yeah, Deanna knows how to party.
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Luke M
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 1:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Wil Wheaton does great work in this episode. Yes Patrick Stewart as Picard is at his thunderous best but it evokes real emotion because you feel Crusher wilting under it all and that's all from Wheaton.

Wesley's turmoil in this episode is so well drawn and when he says "I can't call Captain Picard a liar!" the whole weight of the history of the show and those two characters comes into play on that one line. Excellent.
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Luke M
Sat, Dec 28, 2019, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Best bit of the episode hands down is Picard's reaction when they accidentally kill the parent. His face barely moves but it's pure desolation.
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Luke M
Sat, Dec 28, 2019, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

There's definitely some self awareness from the writers, since they take the "every time you touch the engines you're touching me" ending from Booby Trap and re-contextualise it here, taking a seemingly bittersweet romantic moment from that ep and showing it to be creepy af.

But then not quite enough self awareness to accept that Geordi needed to back off! His speech about how he's tried to be courteous and was only offering friendship (he clearly wasn't!) is one of the few dud characters notes in my rewatch so far. Brahms even makes to leave and Geordi moves in front of her saying "no no no no" in a kind of threatening manner. From Brahms perspective it's a dangerous situation! She knows nothing about this guy and now he's snapped.

Definitely not Geordi's finest moment. The show is kind of salvageable in that it doesn't appear to endorse his behaviour... until the end when Brahms apologies to him!!

It's been 30 years since it was made, a few elements are going to start creaking and this is one of them.
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Luke
Wed, Dec 25, 2019, 4:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

Virtuoso is a golden episode of Voyager and I'm happy to defend it. It has a cute scifi premise and a well realised alien race. The emotional journey the Doctor goes through is very strong for an ep of Star Trek with lots of local peaks. The argument with Janeway is intense. I like the farewell scene with a Seven. The moment the Doctor realises Tincoo not only can not love him like he wants but also never understood the beauty of music at all, is ace.

People say Tincoo is poorly acted?!? I completely disagree. When the Doctor pleads with her to understand that she is hearing his artistry and his soul, the way she ghoulishly replies "I've duplicated that too" is a perfect scifi moment. She is truly alien in this show and it's great.

Then we have the final performance of the Doctor, where he channels the pain from his foolishness and humiliation into his art, an epic case of "show don't tell" which drama often fails at, giving the best performance of his life to a disinterested audience. Pathos, man. Song choice is excellent. Then the episode ends with a tidy scene about Seven's fan letter. This episode has genuine emotional heft. I really love it.

Finally the episode is funny. The aliens are so smug but deservedly so, the Doctor is hilariously quick to burn bridges with his long suffering comrades, and the duet he sings with himself is laugh-out-loud.

I really rate this one very highly.
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Luke
Tue, Nov 19, 2019, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

A reference to the Eugenics Wars would indeed have been nice. But, this isn't the first time VOY has done a story set in the 1990s and completely ignored the Eugenics Wars.

As for World War III - that didn't happen until the mid-21st century. This story is set at least 40 years before. And First Contact with the Vulcans didn't happen until 2063.
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Luke
Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 6:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

William B....

No. That isn’t established until Weyoun returns in “Ties of Blood and Water”.
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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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Luke
Sun, Sep 22, 2019, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

While I think "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" is a slightly better episode overall, this is definitely my favorite Aron Eisenberg performance as well.

RIP Mr. Eisenberg. You were one of the best characters on the best Star Trek series. You navigated the waters of the Great Material Continuum, avoiding the shoals of bankruptcy and seeking the strong winds of prosperity, and you did it well. Enjoy your new life in the Divine Treasury, because we all know the Celestial Auctioneers accepted your bribe, good sir.

Godspeed!
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Luke
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

Does anybody remember (it was about two and a half years ago now) when I complained in the comments for ENT: "Bounty" about a certain sub-section of Trek fans and their obsessive, neo-Puritan disdain for sexuality (especially female sexuality) and titillation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et52K3VOFQ4
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Luke
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

In Will's defense, at least he didn't kill Tom in cold blood like he did with another duplicate William T. Riker.
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Luke
Wed, Jul 17, 2019, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

There are a couple problems with your analysis.

1.) Star Trek always uses the term "race" to refer to different alien species. It is rather surprising that the word "species" is almost never used. But it is a remarkably consistent tract across the entire franchise. I think you're reading too much into that aspect.

2.) "There was No reason that such an intelligent alien would make up such a lame excuse." That's just bad writing, not some grand scheme on the part of the writers. This is Star Trek, after all. Are you really saying that the grand statement is "you should be racist"? In Star Trek? In TNG Season One? The one season where Roddenberry himself had the most creative control?

3.)"...as Remmick dies he explains they seek peaceful coexistence..." Couldn't he just be lying? They obviously not seek peaceful coexistence if they are forcibly taking over people and using them to institute an even grander invasion plan.

4.) "They take no prisoners, make no effprt to seek out and discover more about this fascinating, intelligent, brand new life form from so far away." An intelligent, brand new life form which was trying to enslave them. What were they supposed to do? Let themselves be enslaved? Does all a conquering enemy really have to do is say "we're really you're friends" and all is well?
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Luke
Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

I liked the character stuff in this episode, but the entire Plot is too contrived for me. And again we have another episode where Voyager is useless, only this time, it's to computers who were outclassed by 1999.

That scene REALLY chuffed me, I must admit. Was that the only way they could think to make drama? To jmake Voyager the "underdog". It couldn't be cleverness on the part of the villain or underlying moral principles that cause a problem, no, it's cause everything is broken and because somehow his repurposed tech that looks completely in place in 1996 actually happens to also have all the future technology capabilities, he just doesn't release that.
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Luke
Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 12:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

To be frank, this episode feels like it's an episode written by atheists trying to justify religion, but their heart isn't into it.

As a result their "justification" feels like forced contrivance. It doesn't make sense because it doesn't make sense. Stop asking questions.
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Luke
Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

The one thing I think undercuts this episode's success is B'lanna's righteous indignation scene where she calls the head Enaran a murderer....even though based on the memories, if they're correct, this was completed by the parents of the oldest Enarans there. Further, the majority of the population was told the cover up story, which they would have believed, naturally, so.....B'Lanna is attacking people that are almost certainly completely innocent. in fact if anything the fact they were lied to at all implies that most of the populace would have been opposed to the plan had they known, and so it's really just a small cabal of government officials that are responsible for such behavior.

And that undercuts the entire denouement for me. It makes Capt. Janeway cut all relations with the Enarans but...this is both incredibly naive and not terribly just. Voyager needs all the help it can get and, even if the Enarans as a people are 100% guilty, they were also lied to as a majority and it wasn't these people. That sort of group judgment is....some kind of -ism and definitely unjust.
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Luke
Tue, May 28, 2019, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Hoo boy this comment section. I liked this episode, but Jammer identifies something I couldn't quite put my finger on when Tuvix is so adamant on not being separated. Up until that point it feels like Tuvix is acting like Tuvok and Neelix in one body, but then there' s a split there.

I'll also admit when Tuvix said there' s a problem that "he doesn't want to die" I was taken aback a bit, as that idea hadn't ever occurred to me. And while I don't think Doc's refusing is really in line with him, I think Janeway's handling at the end where she's obviously shaken and disturbed by what she must do rings true. But......

Lt. Yarko got it right in 2015 (and honestly I'm surprised it took 7 years for that to surface). There is no "murder" here. Tuvix is a composite of Tuvok and Neelix. There is a blended conciousness with its own "identity" there, but it's still just Tuvok and Neelix. And the episode makes that clear at several points. When they arrive back on Voyager merged, he says I am Neelix and he says I am Tuvok. He has both of their memories, emotions, and desires. He loves Kes because he is Neelix, but he also loves Tuvok's wife...because he is Tuvok.

The only reason we think of it as a "killing" is because Tuvix suggests that it is, but that doesn't mean Tuvix is correct. It's simply the two minds trying to deal with their situation as best they can. He is two lives in one body, and reseperating that out doesn't "kill" anyone, it simply lets them act independently of one another, despite what the combined consciousness may feel at the time. But there's no indication his feeling is correct. If anything the evidence of the episode indicates he is just Tuvok and Neelix, only in one body.

But I might be slightly colored by my previous experience with Dragon Ball Z. Lol.
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Luke
Mon, May 27, 2019, 7:31am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Deadlock

I didn't like this one as much as Jammer, there were a couple of big points that bothered me.

First, from a show standpoint, the "Voyager is getting wrecked" part just takes too long, especially as they aren't the ones to solve the problem and it doesn't give them any insight into their situation. It's just a long slow destruction.

Second, the Vidiians takeover was terrible. I thought I was going to get some cool action scene of Starfleet security barricading a hallway and having a shootout a la the opening scene of Star Wars, but...they're far too incompetent for that. And as someone else mentioned, this voyager still has their transporter, seems like they could just transport enemies into the vacuum of space for days. Of course, they creates a problem because they don't have time for that with the other Voyager, but they're complete helplessness irritates me. Especially since it seems to be a trend in the series. Voyager is always the weakest ship in the fight, and that kinda sucks.

And the philosophical implications of the ending are....uncomfortable. And unaddressed. Also kind of a problem. Though the Amoeba analogy helps me a bit.
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Luke
Mon, May 27, 2019, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

Funny, I'm usually commenting because I found an episode worse than Jammer, but here is one of the odd exceptions. I liked this episode a lot and found the conclusions to be satisfactory. It does make assumptions about what the Kazon will do, but....they've been pretty predictable in the past so this doesn't bother me. It's also feasible that in the original plan Paris would have contacted them if they didn't come after him, either way would have worked for their plan, and I found the action to be pretty good.

Neelix's dabbling and general flaky nature actually work for me in this episode, because I can accept making a morning TV show is something he would do on a whim...and something he would abandon two weeks later as his attention was drawn elsewhere. In the meantime, aggressively and annoyingly pursuing something to the chagrin of others is kind of his thing, so he was basically already a Journalist, this just lets him have plot significance.

And to top it all off Voyager actually won a space battle for once, which is quite the miracle.

So yeah, I liked this one a lot. I was a little surprised they just killed Jonas off, but they weren't going to execute him so this is a nice clean way to end his story line and give him his just desserts. I'll also say that like someone else said, I got Hogan and Jonas confused at first. But overall, good episode.
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Luke
Mon, May 27, 2019, 5:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

@Soran

Thanks for proving my point.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Exactly. Why is Roddenberry's personal viewpoint the only position that should matter? It amazes me that so many fans who lambast religion are simultaneously so religiously devoted to the dogma of Roddenberryism - i.e. "Gene wouldn't approve of.... fill in the blank." And it goes beyond religion in Trek. Capitalism/capitalists are shown in a semi-positive light? Can't do that, Gene wouldn't approve! Conflict between the Starfleet and Maquis characters on VOY? Can't do that, Gene wouldn't approve! Any questioning of any aspect of the "Roddenberry ideal" of early TNG? Can't do that, Gene wouldn't approve! Any interpersonal conflict between main characters? Can't do that, Gene wouldn't approve! For crying out loud - children mourning the death of their parents (a.k.a. TNG: "The Bonding")? Can't do that, Gene wouldn't approve!

So, we're supposed to celebrate diversity, but we're also supposed to conform to the herd mentality. I just don't get it.
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Luke
Sun, May 26, 2019, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Dreadnought

I expected this episode to get savaged and was surprised it wasn't as badly rated as threshold. I hate this one a lot.

I think I just can't get past the initial premise. A doomsday superweapon with an everything proof shield....built by the Cardassians? If the Cardassians could build this thing they would have defeated the entire Dominion single handledly and retaken DS9 without a sweat. That lone concept just sets this episode up for failure for me, cause it's built on contrivance, which makes everything else seem like contrivance. I wish that instead of just being invincible they had given Voyager some reason to not destroy the Dreadnought so there could still be tension but it not be contrived. Maybe it contained some part that Voyager desperately needed or something. That would use the Delta Quadrant aspect and mean they couldn't just fire upon the ship.

But yeah, the basic premise was just a bridge way too far for me and it ruins it.
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Luke
Sat, May 25, 2019, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

"This episode is not in keeping with Gene's vision of the future..."

You mean the vision that lead to McCoy saying "if you're speaking of worships of sorts, we represent many beliefs" in "Bread and Circuses"?

Or the one that lead to the Enterprise having an area that was specifically designed as the ship's Chapel, complete with numerous religious symbols on the walls, an alter and a woman genuflecting before said alter twice in "Balance of Terror" and where Kirk's funeral was held in "The Tholain Web"?

Or the one which had Kirk saying "mankind has no need for gods; we find the One quite adequate" in "Who Mourns for Adonais?"?

Or the one which had Kirk saying "Daystrom felt such an act was against the laws of God and man" in "The Ultimate Computer"?

Or the one that lead to Spock and McCoy dropping biblical references so often that it would be pointless to list them all?

"... which I've always found to be optimistic. It is not optimistic, but rather pretty depressing that hundreds of years from now, belief without evidence is held in such high regard."

I've also always seen Gene's vision as pretty optimistic - that all people, atheists and all different religious types, could leave in harmony and just except each other despite their differences. It really is pretty depressing that so many atheists can't do that, instead wanting everyone to just conform to their way of thinking in one huge, civilization-wide group-think.
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Luke
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

Well, you heard it here folks. When a white man says that he doesn't believe in burning non-white women alive and instead wants to punish those who do.... that's somehow "terribly racist, bigoted garbage" that should land someone in jail.

What a world we live in.
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Luke
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Two Days and Two Nights

Men decide what? Whether or not they "get any"?

Women are the ones who ultimately decide whether or not a sexual encounter takes place. The only time that isn't the case is in cases of rape, which this episode obviously didn't depict.
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