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Luke
Tue, Oct 9, 2018, 4:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

@PJ

Even though I completely agree that this is nothing but a slap in the face to all Kes fans, myself included, I have defend Braga on this one.

He was only one of four people involved in the writing.... including Rick Berman himself. That means Braga and the other two were most likely only doing what Berman commanded them to do.

Berman deserves all the blame for this train-wreck.
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Luke
Sat, Sep 22, 2018, 2:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

@Elliott

"Do we really think Starfleet would casually explore Borg space if it were nearby? "

Well, I honestly wouldn't put it past them given how utterly moronic Starfleet Command and its flag officers are routinely shown to be across the whole franchise (seriously, with the exceptions of Admiral Ross in late-DS9 and Admiral Forrest in ENT, I can't think of a single example where an admiral/ambassador/bureaucrat is consistently shown to be one of the unalloyed "good guys").

"not only do they look completely human..."

Oh, come now, that's not fair. After all, they all have yellowish discolorations running from their eyes to the hairline on their temples. So, therefore, by Trek logic, they MUST look like aliens. Right?

"So, Deral, a widower, and Dax have a date where they climb trees, stand around manicured-lawns, listen to cheesy harp music, and do other really boring shit."

LOL! You know, I may disagree with Elliott on a lot of things, but I got to admit that he does know how to bring the funny. That is such a perfect description of that entire scene!
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Luke
Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 1:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

@Elliott

With all the talk you gave to how sexist the B-plot is, I'm just curious.... what kind of sexism are you saying "Molly must go with her mother" is? Is it sexist against women by saying that the women must take care of the children or is it sexist against men for implying that a man obviously can't be capable of caring for a child on his own?
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Luke
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Count me in the camp that doesn't think "Babylon 5" has aged all that well. But, then, I was never all that impressed with it to begin with. It's a damn fine show, no doubt, but I've encountered plenty of people who honestly think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sorry, but it's just not that good.

The special effects were never that great to begin with and REALLY have not aged well at all. The acting is rather hit and miss - you have phenomenally great actors like Peter Jurasik (Londo) and Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar), but the rest of the cast vary from average at best (Boxleitner as Captain Sheridan) to downright awful (Claudia Christian as Commander Ivanova). The characters themselves are also hit and miss - Londo and G'Kar are standouts, some like Marcus, Lennier, Lyta and Garibaldi are passable and others like Delenn, Vir, Zack and Ivanova range from slightly off-puting to borderline unwatchable.

The writing also varies a great deal in quality. JMS was unbelievably good at set-up and atmosphere, but often failed miserably in the pay-off to many of the shows grand arcs (at least in my humble opinion). And Season Five is.... .... well.... .... bad, just bad!

Now don't get me wrong, I do consider myself a fan of the show - in as much as I consider myself a fan off any flawed, slightly-above-average series. But if there is one thing I've always taken away from B5 it's that it has made my appreciation for DS9 rise considerably.
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Luke
Mon, Aug 6, 2018, 10:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

Ah, Skeptical, you beat me to the punch. I was just going to copy-paste your magnificent post in the DS9: "Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" comments. If anyone wants a more detailed response, look it up (from March 16, 2016).
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Luke
Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

@Dr. Dunc....

I've noticed that DS9, more than any of the other shows, had a noticeable tendency to put characters, especially background ones, in elaborate or ridiculous hairstyles. Since I like to count things during my re-watches (like Holodeck Toys - the number of times we see characters wearing outfits or taking props into the holodeck when they could just as easily wear holographic outfits) I decided to count this item during the reviews. The first number is the total times it has happened, the second is the number of times it happens in the given episode.

If I ever do manage to get back to my reviews I'll continue the process. For instance, things I could for VOY episodes could be Holodeck Toys again (since it's more egregious on that series) or the number of times Janeway dies (which, if I remember correctly is a surprisingly high amount of times) or how many photon torpedoes they fire with a limited supply.

The problem is that I stopped reviewing because I was getting burned out and just needed a break and then never picked it back up. And since the next episode for me to review is "Profit and Lace", that doesn't really help get me back into the swing of it. *wink*
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Luke
Thu, May 31, 2018, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

@kapages

"Stop defending the religious lunatic and ask yourselves. What would Picard do? "

Well, he would probably just sit back and watch as the whole planet's population dies and then pat himself on the back for being such a truly devoted follower of his religious devotion to the Prime Directive.

Doubt me? Watch TNG: "Homeward".
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Luke Matrix
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

I think it's a neat episode with great acting by both Siddig and William Sadler. Like a few commenters have already said I think the inclusion of Section 31 is an interesting story element because of how they clash with the Federation ideals. I don't think having a secret cabal doing what they think is best for the Federation changes anything about our characters and the rest of Starfleet, because while our hero characters have been by necessity good blokes we've seen plenty of bad or misguided eggs like Ronald Tracy, John Gill, Janice Lester, Garth of Izar, Admiral Cartwright, Eric Pressman, Norah Satie, Vice-Admiral Kennelly, Admiral Leyton and Admiral Doherty. Section 31 is just a bunch of pricks who've been doing it longer.
My only quibble with the episode is having Section 31 be in the shadows for over 200 (or 300) years. Now on the one hand I think it's a cool story idea that around the time of First Contact a bunch of people got together to further Earth's agenda as they ventured into the stars. I like seeing different factions played off one another, like seeing SG1 vs the NID, or the Machine team vs Samaritan, and it was fun seeing them back in Enterprise. But on the other hand I feel like it diminishes the individual if they retcon that S31 had a hand in every major plot in Star Trek. Cartwright was just a disillusioned guy who made a deal with his counterpart Chang. Doherty was just a dumb idiot suckered in by whatsisstretchyface. Not everything needs to be connected.
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Luke
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Third Season Recap

@WilliamB - I'd say Season Three is a slight improvement over Season Two on the whole. Though that is almost entirely due to the rather strong set episodes it ends on. It's mostly, like almost all of VOY, just average. Even the much-despised "Trilogy of Terror" isn't really that bad, in my humble opinion. I actually kind of like "Darkling", "Rise" is also just average and "Favorite Son".... well, okay, that one is pretty bad. ;-P

But, it does have more stand-outs than Season Two offered - "Fair Trade", "Unity", "Before and After" and "Scorpion, Part I". Whereas Season Two's only real stand-out episode was "Meld". Maybe "The Thaw" qualifies, but I think it falls just shy.

Season Four, however, is indeed a drastic improvement, almost right from the get-go. It's easily the best of the bunch. If memory serves it's the only season of VOY where I would award two ten of ten scores to separate episodes. One of these days I really ought to get back to my reviews of Trek, I'd love to finish up DS9 and then move on to VOY and ENT eventually. God, I can't believe it's been almost seventeen months since I last reviewed DS9: "Valiant"!
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Luke
Thu, Sep 7, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

Well, I count no less than five different logical fallacies in that brief comment alone. "Slippery slope", "black or white", "false cause", "composition/division" and "anecdotal".

Well done.
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Luke
Mon, Jun 19, 2017, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

What is going on in these comments?
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Luke
Sat, May 27, 2017, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

Ah, yes.... because all of us "pearl clutching" conservatives really had a problem when, say, Worf (played by a black man) ended up with Dax (played by a white woman). Or when Worf and Ezri hooked up. Or when Bashir and Ezri ultimately ended up together. Or when Worf and Troi had a relationship. Or when Paris (a white guy) married Torres (played by a Hispanic woman) on VOY. Or when LaForge over on TNG only expressed interest in white women. Or when Mayweather ended up having a past relationship with a white woman over on ENT.

But put two black people together in a realtionship and people actually start pearl clutching.

Funny how that works.
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Luke
Mon, May 8, 2017, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Yeah, Worf is the controlling one in this relationship. Sure.

Dax, to paraphrase William B from upthread, ....
1.) Chooses the vacation they go on.
2.) Chooses to tell everyone why Worf is upset (regarding her dinner with Captain Boday) when Worf wanted it to be private, in front of Worf no less.
3.) Constantly talks about Worf behind his back.
4.) Repeatedly tells Worf to get out of his uniform.
5.) Instructs Worf to put on his swimsuit, which seemingly she got him and is clearly *not* the type of swimsuit he would be comfortable wearing on what is, let's remember, his body.
6.) Tells him to stop reading the Essentialist pamphlet.
7.) Tells him that it's none of his business what Leeta does as if she was not frequently gossiping.
8.) Criticizes him for attending the Essentialists' rally.

So, he went where she wanted to go, did what she wanted to do and was okay with her bad-mouthing him. All while she was telling him what he should wear, what he should read, what he should say and who he should time with. But he's the controlling one because he would prefer it if she didn't engage in clearly sexualized pastimes with a former lover (which she has no problem doing - pretty odd thing for such a *controlled* woman to do).

We must have watched different episodes.
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Luke
Thu, Mar 30, 2017, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

@ Jason R - "What people don't like is when Trek uses sex appeal as a substitute for good story or to distract from poor quality. It's not about being offended by female nudity - it's being offended by the notion that putting an actress in her underwear can distract us from a terrible episode. "

Then why does this subset of Trek fans complain every single time any kind of nudity, or sexuality, appears on screen. Every. Single. Time. They even complain when it happens in an otherwise good, or at least decent, episode. Going back to SFDebris and his obsession with it, look no further than his review of DS9: "Distant Voices". At one point, after we've realized everything is taking place in Bashir's imagination, there's a Dabo Girl who sings "Happy Birthday". SFDebris complains that she's wearing a skin-tight costume even though it fits perfectly in the story as Bashir is fantasizing about having a sexy woman singing to him. Or how about VOY: "Warlord", when Torres shows up in a swimsuit at one point. They complain about that as well, even though it makes perfect sense story-wise as she's taking part in a beach resort holo-program (and it's not even a very revealing swimsuit - it's a one-piece). Like I said.... Every. Single. Time.

@ Peter G - "But I suspect the reason Trek fans are displeased at the sexualization (of a Vulcan, no less) on ENT is because Trek is supposed to be representative of a future that is beyond racism and sexism, and certainly part of that vision should be avoiding sexualizing people for profit."

If that's the case then why don't these sex-negative fans get anywhere near as outraged when a man is shown without his shirt on, or with even less clothes on. I don't remember anybody getting as outraged as Jammer does in this very review whenever William Shatner appeared topless. In fact, TOS may have shown more male than female skin.

@ William B - "I am also reminded of Ron Moore's comment in his famous Voyager rant about Seven's outfit -- if you want her to be sexualized, have her be interested in sex."

Then the sex-negative Trek fans shouldn't have a problem this episode, as T'Pol's entire plot revolves solely around her intense interest in having sex. And yet, here we are.

@ Chrome - "The best I could hope is that the actress and maybe some of the female writers have some input as to whether they think a woman in the 23 - 24th century would wear a particular costume. "

Nobody ever forced Marina Sirtis to wear those body hugging costumes Troi almost always wore. Nobody ever forced Jeri Ryan to wear those catsuits. Nobody ever forced Terry Farrell to wear a swimsuit in DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin...". Nobody ever forced Roxann Dawson to wear a swimsuit in VOY: "Warlord". Nobody ever forced Jeri Ryan to wear catsuits. Nobody ever forced Linda Park to appear in her underwear. And nobody ever forced Jolene Blalock to wear catsuits or to appear in semi-naked scenes. Every single one of those women chose, of her own free will, to do those things. Each one said something along the lines of "yes, I'm comfortable with my body and I'm happy to show it off." They all could have simply put their feet down and refused to do it. I find it odd that as you advocate for women's agency you're willing to strip these women of that very agency and portray them as simply being acted upon by the powers that be.

@ Jason R - "In the 90s it was sleazy, phony and lame all in the same package. The irony with Jeri Ryan was that she was really a talented actress and the writing for her character was good..."

Indeed it is a shame that the sex-negative fans can't seem to look past her physical appearance. You're right: Ryan is a very good actress. I even think that Jolene Blalock is a better actress than most people give her credit for. I'd rather focus on their characters. However, the sex-negative fans always say: "We shouldn't focus on their bodies! Now shut up while I do nothing but focus on their bodies!"

@ William B - "... they read as purely adolescent fantasies partly *because* it seems inconceivable that they could actually have sex or be so interested -- to appeal to teens who are hormonal but also threatened by sex (and especially by female desire, as opposed to desirable females). And that genuinely seems to be part of the design -- as if people being sex objects for audience purposes is what they want, in order to sell the shows, but for them to be sexual beings with their own desires would be a bridge too far and might alienate people. "

And yet, again, in this very episode T'Pol has an overwhelmingly intense desire to do just that - actually have sex. It gets to the point where she's willing to jump both Phlox's and Reed's bones on the spot because she desires it so badly. And yet, Jammer and quite a few commenters still lambast the episode for daring to show Blalock in a state of semi-undress.
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Luke
Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

Okay, can someone please explain to me what it is about a certain subsection of Trek fans and their obsessive disdain for sexuality (especially female sexuality)?

"OMG, Jolene Blalock's belly button is showing?! WHY ISN'T SHE IN A BURQA?!?!?!?! WHERE'S MY FAINTING COUCH?!?!?!?! GET ME MY SMELLING SALTS!!!!! Clearly this is only meant to appeal to those disgusting, teenaged, horndog boys - people who I'm naturally better than because I'm above such filthy things as titillation. Not that I'm opposed to sexuality, mind you; I just howl with indignation every single time it's presented in any fashion."

Seriously, for a fanbase that so prides itself on being open-minded, there is a remarkable streak of sex-negativity among us. Just look at SFDebris, for example. The man descends into apoplectic rage every time a female character wears something even remotely skin-tight, let alone when she's *GASP* scantily-clad. I just don't get it. I'd say a lot of Trek fans are awfully Victorian when it comes to sex, but that's an insult to Victorian era people. They're more like modern day Puritans.
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Luke
Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Claudio - Your students are "almost universally appalled by it"?

If the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" appalls them, then there is something seriously wrong with your students.
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Luke
Sat, Mar 25, 2017, 6:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

Damn, I'm something of an ENT apologist, even an Archer apologist, but this is absolutely dire. I've never understood the hatred most people have toward Archer as a character. In fact, I often fail to see why so many see him as a complete incompetent. But this time the writers seemed intent on making him just that.

Let's review that major - and I stress "major" because there are plenty more - problems with this episode....
1.) Why the hell should I care about Porthos? First off, I'm a cat person not a dog person. But you know what? If there was an episode that focused on Data taking Spot to some planet and Spot getting sick, I still wouldn't care. Because a character's pet shouldn't be the damn focus of an entire episode! They actually did have Spot be the focus of half an episode - "Force of Nature" - and it was crap too!
2.) Why does Archer even take Porthos to the planet in the first place? Here he is, faced with visiting a planet of people he knows, from first-hand experience, that are more easily offended than even the most out-there, lunatic, trigger-warning-happy, modern Progressive Social Justice Warriors and he takes his freaking dog on the visit! Yeah, Jon, there's simply no way that could cause trouble. *facepalm*
3.) ARCHER: "Well, maybe if they'd bothered to read the genetic profile we sent..." Are you freaking kidding me?! Dipshit, a genetic profile isn't going to tell these people that dogs like to piss on trees!
4.) So, apparently Archer is a trained diplomat. I think this is the first time that's ever been revealed. How does he handle this diplomatic situation? By acting like a petulant jerk. Brilliant! Here's a quick tip for the writers - if you want us to believe a character is diplomatic, don't have him respond to a diplomatic situation by acting like a blowhard and a moron. You don't barge into someone else's house, start throwing your weight around, tell them what's what, act like a prideful buffoon and call it "diplomacy".
5.) So apparently Archer really, really wants to get into T'Pol's Vulcan panties. And, apparently, T'Pol might - possibly - want to let him unlock that achievement. Where in the actual fuck did this come from?! Jammer is right in that there has been precisely ZERO sexual tension or subtext between these two characters up until now. Even when T'Pol's breasts accidentally ended up in Archer's face back in "Shadows of P'Jem" there was no hint of sexual tension from either of them! Damn, and I thought the sexual subtext between Janeway and Chakotay was limited. This is practically non-existent.
6.) The Kreetassans. There's being humorously arrogant and then there's this. These people are so uptight and offense-prone that even if the episode was capable of being funny they would suck it all down the drain. If you're going to crank something up to 11 and beyond, make sure it's worth it.

Wow, even as a fan of ENT and of Archer as a character, this crap is awful. God bless John Billingsley, because Phlox is the only legitimately worthwhile part of this train wreck. His discussion with Archer about his family was easily the diamond in this sea of shit.

But, is this the worst of the franchise? Hardly. At least they didn't openly advocate for eugenics like TOS did in "The Mark of Gideon" or outright promote religious fanaticism to the point of murder like TNG did in "Homeward". Hell, it's not even the worst of ENT thus far. At least it didn't say "rape is funny.... as long as it happens to a man" like they did in "Unexpected". So, at least it doesn't promote murder or rape. Hardly high praise.
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Luke
Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

@Paul Allen

"No conclusive evidence, so his word against hers? Really uneasy about how easily everyonw turned to flat out disbelieving her."

What should they have done, then? Just listened and believed her?

There was no evidence against him. Isn't there still such a thing as innocent until proven guilty? A case of "he said/she said" isn't enough to justify simply believing her.
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Luke S
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Obviously this episode has something, because I wanted to comment on it right after watching it instead of after watching the whole series. But I was shocked to see the 4-star rating. I did not like this one at all.

I didn't think this was a reset button episode until we got to the point where they turn the station over to the Kligons, and even then it didn't really stick. At the start of the episode I felt like we were doing a flash forward episode to see how Jake had been a writer and to have him tell us a DS9 story from his perspective. He's a secondary cast member, so it made sense that they could show his life in old age without spoiling much else about the cast. His stinger about "the day my father died" didn't phase me. I figured it was going to be one of those fake out where Sisko died for a moment and then was brought back with magic powers or because of some alien influence on Jake.

When that theory was out of the way, I thought they were using the opportunity to skip us forward a year in the DS9 timeline. Sisko would be brought back in time when he reappears almost a year later, and the rest of the episode will show us how things have progressed with the Dominion, Cardassia, and the Klingons over the course of the year Sisko was missing. It also would allow Nog's Starfleet career thing to progress a bit. But then they left the station, so that definitely wasn't it.

At this point, I knew they were either going to snap us back to the beginning OR I had an alternate theory where the story we were seeing wasn't reality but rather Jake's story that he had written in universe. It'd end with the elder Jake wasting his life on obsession and then we'd cut away to young Jake and Sisko in their home with Sisko reading the book.

And I would have been more fine with all that. But no, it' s a pure reset button. And that's why I don't think you can compare it to "The Inner Light".

Everything that happened in TIL happened to the character who went back to the "old timeline". Even though those people were long dead and Picard was really just lying on the floor of the bridge the whole time, Picard lived through the whole 30+ years. He has those memories and experiences, as we see with the flute. It's
"reset" but still carries forward. The people accomplished their goal of telling their story, and Picard is left with a lifetime of memories to boot.

And that's probably why "The Visitor"s ending undermines it so much fro me. I think I'd think better of this if Jake was the one who retained those memories, at least partially. But he doesn't. Sisko is the one sent back in time, and while he has memories of the old timeline, they're meaningless

I think the problem that reset button episodes like this have is not just that what happens doesn't matter, it's that so often they play out in such radically different futures as to not even let us get insight into the characters involved. They act the way they do to further this one plot, because they're going to be undone by the end anyway, who care about furthering their characterization.

All that plus, it seems like the Galaxy fared way better with Sisko dead, all things considered. Not an implication I'm particularly fond of.
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Luke
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: CNN Is a Joke

Oh, believe me, I saw them on election night.

It was like the violins playing as the Titanic went down. LOL.
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Luke S.
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 6:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Frame of Mind

I like this episode a lot more than I normally enjoy these trick episodes, but am still quite surprised to see it earn full marks. I was annoyed with it half way through and just wanted the crew to show up in the "real" world already, as by that point you got the basic idea of what was going on.

But the show managed to fool me with EVERYTHING being a dream in an inception like dream within a dream situation, so I think that's the source for me having a more fond reaction to this than normal.
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Luke S.
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

I really liked Tapestry with the exception of the Blue Shirt scenes. I just don't buy that this near death experience was necessary for him to continue to take risks. It feels forced or a bit of a cheat, where they really want to use the Butterfly effect but have to stretch the logic to make it work. It's still not terrible in those scenes, but it feels like that's his situation because that's the most humiliating thing they can do to him rather than what he'd actually be like. I mean, we see Picard take a grand interest in Archaeology several times over the series, I think it'd be much more likely for the "timid" Picard to end up surveying some planet rather than still on the Enterprise as a Science officer.
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Luke S.
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

Though not very good, I don't hate this episode as much as everyone else, apparently. But honestly?

I liked the Dog twist. =p
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Luke S.
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

I always enjoy reading these comment threads for episodes I particularly liked or hated. This thing has been talked to death over the last five years, which awesome, but there's one point I don't think people have talked about.

I don't believe Picard.

In the last scene, of course, he reveals to Troi that he would have told Madred anything, but I don't believe him. He believes himself, because he's back safe and reflecting and thinking about how horrible it was and how there's no way he could have endured further. But Picard is a hero, and heroes have to show virtuous traits, including humilty. And part of that humility is his belief he wasn't strong enough to endure, but he was. He demonstrates that all through the episode, and all through the whole series. When it comes to what is easy and what is principled, Picard always goes with what's principled, even when that may cost him his life. It wouldn't have been any different.

Fortunately, he ran out the clock quite literally, and so got to have one of the most satisfying lines in all of TV history.
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Luke
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Favorite Son

KIM: Take care of yourself.
TORRES: See you later, Spot.

This already horrible episode is now even more terrible for having the audacity to compare Harry Kim to a much more three-dimensional and better written Star Trek character.
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