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Mads Leonard Holvik
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 8:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

I liked this episode. And I liked the review. Picard's sense of duty reminds me of Horatio Hornblower. Hornblower marries a woman whom he does not love, and he does it because she loves him so dearly, and he remains true to her until she dies. These philosophical and ethical discussions is why I love Star Trek so much.
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Mads Leonard Holvik
Wed, Jan 31, 2018, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I have always come back to episodes of TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Because of the interesting moral, ethical and philosophical questions raised. I can not see me coming back to any episode of this new series. Some of them are not bad, it's just that they do not offer a lot below the level of action and suspense.
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Mads Leonard Holvik
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 6:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

I just rewatched the episode, and again found it emotionally engaging. This episode is not so much a comment on the value of life from the eyes of humans, as it is from the viewpoint of Data. Data is a machine, and he has experienced the same as the exocomps have. Data stands up for them, and Picard has empathy with him. This has a powerful impact on me as a viewer. Why is it so hard to imagine that these machines can be intelligent? Just because they do not have two legs? This is science fiction! When Data blocks the transport of the exocomps, we get another very powerful moment, and the ensuing dialogue between Data and Riker is another high point.
The exocomps are shown to be intelligent, but even more importantly we see how intelligent and good Data. There is just a good feeling to this episode, because of the inherent goodness of Data, but also because we can feel the compassion and empathy of both Picard, Riker and LaForge.
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Mads Leonard Holvik
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

I don't agree that because the exocomps, or let's say an animal don't have friends, relationships and attachments the way we know, they then have less value. We don't know anything about the reality of being animal, but we very quickly believe we have rule over them. If some alien inteligence came to earth and wanted to use humans as lifestock, they might use similar logic.
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Mads Leonard Holvik
Sat, Jan 27, 2018, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

A complete farce! Makes fun of original TNG Q episodes. Cheap scores. What kind of complete morons would make a script like this, much less sanction it? And why did Levar Burton say yes to direct it??
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Mads
Sat, Oct 7, 2017, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

I love this episode. Sam Elbrun is very interesting and having struggled with social anxiety, I recognize some elements in his personality, like his sensitivity. If you have ever felt out of place and longed for something to make you whole, this episode can resonate with that.
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MadS
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

People in the comments have compared this episode to tons of other from the other incarnations of Trek. I don't know if anyone mentioned it, but what it brought to mind for me was DS9's "Whispers" in which O'Brien returns to the station and everyone seems to be evil or something. They're locking him out of systems he's normally in charge of and acting very distant towards him. There are several reasons the two episodes remind me of each other. 1) The two actors both did a very compelling job as they lived their alarming dilemma. . . or paranoia? 2) In both, their crewmates seem to be acting suspiciously hostile, 3) In both, as time goes one, you know the ending is going to be a big twist. Because otherwise, things don't add up.

Anyway, I liked this episode a lot (especially for Enterprise's low standards), and personally think Hoshi is the single strongest character on the show. Trip and Flox can be great occasionally, but the writers have them doing too many stupid things (like trying to convince the captain he's got the hots for T'Pol, or sleeping with princesses of other species randomly because who cares about her annoying personality if she looks like a human model, and really, how likely is it that Trip would have the bad luck to be impregnated twice?) Hoshi is consistently written, likable, good at her job, and her only faults are just some mild neuroses that don't actually cause much trouble.

The one mistake the writers made was the other characters being such assholes to Hoshi about being late/not figuring out a simple translation. Their treatment of her made it obvious from that point forward that it all had to be in her head of something.
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MadS
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

I like the plot of this episode very much. I always like the quieter episodes, and I thought it was a fairly inoffensive rewriting of history, in terms of Vulcans having been on Earth before "first contact". I like Vulcans in general, and seeing three of them react in three different ways to their situation was interesting.

But as you said, the performances and emotional beats fell short all over the place. The only actor who I felt really lived up to the character they were asked to portray was the guy who played the most open of the Vulcans, Mestral. The other non-T'Pol Vulcan was ok, considering he WAS playing a Vulcan, and his part wasn't too big. But Blalock, the bar owner, and her son were not satisfying. Blalock is just unfortunately still terrible at playing a Vulcan. Not that I can picture the actress as being good in any role, from what I've seen. She equates emotionless with quiet and unassuming, but still with some detectable traces of random emotion in her voice. Vulcans should be calm, but still very self-assured. Someone needed to buy her the Voyager box set and tell her to try to study and imitate Tuvok or Seven. I think Tim Russ is the best Vulcan ever. He does allow a bit of emotion into his voice from time to time, sometimes a bit of condescension or amusement when speaking with Neelix or Paris, sometimes a real feeling of friendship when he speaks to Janeway or Kess. It's subtle, but adds to his presence on the screen. The one thing he always does is sound confident. Jeri Ryan, even though she is technically playing a human, also does a much more believable "Vulcan" than Blalock. By the way, I loved every single time that Tuvok and Seven shared the screen. They were pretty damn funny together, dispassionately remarking on the rest of the crew's antics.

The bar owner and son, on the other hand, aren't necessarily bad actors. But they certainly should have been directed to seem a little MORE interesting and emotional. And speaking of injecting emotions into the episode, the entire mine collapse situation could have been made more interesting if we had had more interactions with and affection for the men who were trapped in there.

In terms of plot, this one is more interesting than 11:59. But 11:59 was a more affecting episode, based on performances. The character Mulgrew plays feels like a similar personality, but still a noticeably different person than Captain Jainway. The man and son she meets both have more memorable personalites than the woman and son in this episode. Just wanted to point out, that one wasn't actually a "story" told by Janeway. It was a true flashback/exact portrayal of events. The story Janeway knew about her ancestor, which had been passed down to her through her family, turned out to be a complete exaggeration. Throughout the course of the episode, Janeway learns some of the truth through her historical investigations. But we, the audience know the whole story, whereas it's unlikely that her research would have revealed the level of detail which we learned.

I liked this episode of Enterprise. I would rate it more than 1.5 stars. But I did come away from less moved than I ought to have been, considering how much I normally enjoy this type of episode. I blame mostly Jolene Blalock, and somewhat the writers (who should have added a bit more to get us to care about the characters in Carbon Creek) and somewhat the guest actors/director, whoever could have given those characters a bit more umph.
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MadS
Fri, Sep 15, 2017, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

I said in my comment above that the only misstep was Hoshi losing her shirt. I then took a look at the comments and was reminded that the scene when T'Pol is on her bed in a skanky midriff tank top and Archer talks to her was actually worse than Hoshi losing her shirt. It's too bad, because that was kind of an interesting scene, with Archer talking to T'Pol from the future and her so out of it you're not even sure if she's really getting the message. Both clothing fiascos took me out of the story. But at least with the shirt thing, they can sort of pretend it was supposed to be funny, her coming to Malcolm's door topless. But that scene with T'Pol was just trying to show skin.

One commenter above (@Dave) mentioned that these scenes were sexist. I would completely agree, considering just this episode, or comparing these scenes to the other permutations of Trek. But once again, even though I think Enterprise is ridiculous with all of it's random nakedness, it's overall track record isn't too sexist. More like juvenile. We've seen the main three males wearing very little at least two times each. I tend to think the show is doing a pretty good job with equal opportunity nakedness. They do throw a little extra naked T'Pol in when they can. The more sexist thing about Enterprise is how often the male characters TALK about how hot T'Pol is. The Ferengi wanting Umaks (sp?), Malcolm thinking she has a nice bum...
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MadS
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

I've noticed that Jammer's ratings (often) tend to have more to do with his expectations vs. reality, rather than how good an episode is. For example, the penultimate episode of last season, on Risa, got 3 stars, while this got 2. And I could understand it on the Risa episode, because I (and Jammer, it seems) was pleasantly entertained and mostly not too bored or annoyed by an episode that initially promised to be quite bad (aka, set on Risa).

Still, this episode was obviously better. It may not have lived up to its potential, as set up by the cliffhanger. . . But Jammer explained that at the beginning of this review! How could it live up to it's potential, what with the cliff hanger having Archer stuck 1000 years in the future. . . in a future which doesn't possess the equipment to send him back?! And the Enterprise was completely surrounded by Suliban with no possible way to survive unless the Suliban decided for some reason not to immediately destroy them. And the crew was way outnumbered, so their only chance to take the ship back was "covert ops". As it was, I liked the overall solution.

The only true misstep in the whole episode was having Hoshi lose her shirt. I just don't understand Enterprise's insistence on showing at least one member of the crew in some state of undress in every episode. At least we weren't subjected to erect nipples or electric blue underwear! But really, we're supposed to believe that a Star Fleet officer who plans to go crawling around in vents didn't throw on a sports bra?

Speaking of Jammer's expectations vs. reality problem, that's the way he treats the entirety of Voyager. I guess he was really excited about the initial premise, and never forgave the show for only really taking advantage of that premise in about half the episodes, with the other half feeling more like TNG (with a little extra action, and a little extra heart). "Indeed, this episode feels exactly like a foray into Voyager writing — more so than any episode of Enterprise to date." Is that meant to be a negative? Because Voyager is the BEST.
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MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Just watched it. I like it enough to keep watching. The cast has good chemistry, the visuals are great, and I thought the second half of the episode was better than the first half, plot-wise, which seems promising. Loved the visual of the tree destroying the space ship! I liked the friendly, modern banter, though a few of the full-on jokes were a little too obvious for my taste. Not that I'm so discerning a viewer. I for some reason thought that whole exchange about him getting up to to pee 3 times during the night was so funny that I laughed when I saw it in the preview and then again when I saw the episode.

In fact, I thought the preview was quite amusing the first time I saw it, but few of the jokes were funny upon hearing them for the second time, when watching the episode. So I won't really get the "full comedy experience" until the second episode, since this one was mostly spoiled. I'm not sure if it was because the jokes were spoiled or not, but especially during the first half of the episode, I definitely had the same feeling that others have stated. . . the tone is confusing and it doesn't know if it's more drama or comedy. And it almost does the drama better.

I also found, as others have stated, that the world in which it takes place and the vocabulary which they use are so similar to Star Trek that I almost found it distracting. But on the other hand, hopefully they can use the energy they didn't waste on world building or creative new permutations of technobabble to make sure the plots stay interesting and the jokes funny.

Anyway, it's pretty much impossible for someone to make a sci-fi comedy without me watching it. Especially one that obviously loves Trek as much as I do. I guarantee I'll end up watching every episode of this that airs, because there just isn't enough light-hearted, fun sci-fi for me to be picky.
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MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

@methane and @Robert

Honestly, the gender imbalance never occurred to me on TNG, VOY, or DS9. It wasn't until feeling like something was off in the Enterprise pilot that it ever even occurred to me.

I realize that Tasha Yar leaving screwed up the gender balance on TNG, and I would take Worf over her any day. Thank goodness she left. And I loved Geordie as Chief Engineer, though that's cool they thought about a woman for that part as well. But look at that "3 men, 3 women, 1 android, and 1 boy wonder". So, for the android and child wonder, I guess they "defaulted to the neutral gender", eh?

But really, I never minded the gender balance on TNG. I DID mind the number of Diana and Beverly episodes that had them falling for an alien of the week. "Falling for the alien of the week" is like the most boring overdone Trek theme, and it happened to the ladies (and to Riker) too much. And Levar Burton has said he didn't like how asexual Geordie was. Perhaps they could have let the ladies solve a few more ship-endangering dilemmas and gotten Geordie laid instead?
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MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I've now read the comments. Haha, I've never been so wrong about what the overall consensus on an episode would be. Tons of people in the above comments hated it, with at least one stating it was the worst episode in all of Trek, beating out the likes of Spock's Brain and Threshold. Oh wow, really? You think it was THAT bad? And here I was loving it. Come on, Threshold? No, but I understand what people are saying. They don't actually think the QUALITY was lower than Threshold. They're saying they prefer a bad, ridiculous episode to a morally abhorrent episode. I get that. I guess I just didn't find this episode to be so. I found it really an interesting quandary, where it could have gone either way.

Speaking of people rating the overall best and worst episodes of Star Trek, I saw one comment above stating that Tuvix was one of the best, being another example of thoughtful Trek with a difficult moral dilemma. Now that's interesting, because I didn't love Tuvix. But just as people have a problem with Archer's decision in this one, I wasn't a huge fan of Janeway's actions in that one. I personally would have done the same thing she did. Obviously they wanted Tuvok and Neelix back. Still, I didn't feel her decision was necessarily of the high moral calibre to which Star Fleet aspires. The biggest problem with Tuvix, though, wasn't Janeway's action. It was the fact that she was forced to take that action. It was completely unbelievable. Tuvix was made up of Tuvok and Neelix. Tuvok or Neelix would happily give their own lives for the safety of anyone on the Voyager crew. They've both been shown time and again to be selfless and brave. Especially once Kes had voiced that if it were up to her, she would want the two back separately, it became totally unbelievable that Tuvix wouldn't "do the right thing" on his own. So sure, Janeway acted like a monster at the end there. But she wouldn't have had to, if Tuvix had really been who he was supposed to be. An amalgamation of Tuvok and Neelix. So one thing this episode has going for it that Tuvix didn't, is that the dilemma is not entirely unbelievably manufactured.

Many people in the comments above also complained that Star Trek continuously exhibits that they suck at biology. Especially genetics and evolutionary biology. I agree with this wholeheartedly. But I'm pretty used to it. Has there ever been an episode of Star Trek that did deal with genetics or evolution in a realistic scientific way? No? Then relax and enjoy the ride. Sure, my degrees are in engineering, not evolutionary biology. That was just my minor. (Haha, intentionally showing off/proving I do know the facts.) But I've always elected to suspend disbelief in these biology concept Treks. Otherwise I would go crazy. (I was pretty damn relieved when I was certain that the "cellular entertainment" contraption on DS9 was meant to be funny. I wasn't positive when the sentence first left the guy's mouth.) In fact, the only science fiction I've ever found biologically realistic was written by Michael Crichton. Would love suggestions of other authors who know what they're talking about!

In Jammer's review, as well as in the comments, people mention that the Menk are the "less intelligent" species on the planet. Thus, they will need to continue to evolve to surpass the Valakians in intelligence. But that's not what I got out of the episode. My take was that the Menk were already as intelligent, if not more intelligent, than the Valakians. Which indicates that in recent evolutionary times, their intelligence has been increasing more rapidly than the Valakians'. The difference was that the Valakians had become intelligent FIRST, meaning they'd developed first and they were now (just due to custom, not out of malice) holding the Menk back from what they could accomplish if they weren't second class citizens (once again, not in a "intentionally being mistreated" sort of way). Now, I'm not saying that it's important. I'm not saying that the Valakians deserve to die because of what has happened in recent evolutionary history. I'm just saying that, from what we've seen of how clever the Menk are, it's not so much what they "could" achieve, after continued evolution in the absence of the Valakians, but more like what they would probably achieve, even at their current intelligence level, if they were the ones controlling the planet and its resources.

Another commenter above mentioned that Phlox, as a doctor, had a moral obligation to try to help those people once he found the cure. I agree with that, from my moral perspective. And interestingly, I am 100% certain that the EMH from Voyager (who was programmed by humans) would also agree. But Phlox is not human, and he feels from his moral perspective that under certain circumstances, we have to let the natural order of things play out. Not because it's predestined in any religious way, but because it is what would have happened had he not interfered, and he has no room to know what the long term results might be. Pretty much, he thinks a bad outcome, even the extinction of an entire race, is morally superior to an outcome in which he almost single-handedly dictates the future of two sentient species. It's pretty much the definition of the Prime Directive. That's why I'm pretty confused about the hate.

This is a pre-warp society. This is a planet with two competing sentient races. I say competing because of the line uttered by a Menk in the episode, "The Valakians don't let us live where the soil is fertile." How can Archer and Phlox know the right answer? Maybe the Valakians will find a cure within a hundred years. Maybe their furious medical research, spurred on by their impending doom, will lead to them being one of the most medically advanced societies in the Alpha quadrant. Maybe the Menk will experience some unrelated plague in 50 years, and the Valakians' research will allow them to cure the Menk, even though they are in the end unsuccessful in curing themselves. Maybe, if Phlox had given them the cure, they would have reverse-engineered it, and in 75 years, when it was concluded that the Menk were breeding too much and draining too many resources, they would have designed a genetic mutation and introduced it into the Menk population. Maybe, had he cured them, the Menk and Valakians would have fought a war nuclear war in 120 years over the planet's fertile areas and destroyed each other. Maybe they would have both lived and thrived and eventually become one completely integrated society. My point is, Phlox's intervention, whether the morally superior choice or not, would have without a doubt changed the course of life on planet and future of both races, forever. That conclusion is unavoidable. And it's quite the responsibility. One that he should take on? Perhaps. But the Prime Directive may point towards no. When members of the Federation are dealing with pre-warp societies, it's almost like they're following the Temporal Prime Directive. They've set "invention of warp" as the moment in a society's development at which it's ok to "make changes to the timeline". Interfering with this planet, as Phlox said, is like some alien turning up in (or even going back in time to) the time of the neandrathals and helping them overcome the obstacles that pushed them to extinction.

Anyway, these have been my disorganized ramblings in response to some of the comments above. There were too many for organized ramblings!
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MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Along with everyone else (or, presumably, ALMOST everyone, I didn't read all the comments yet and you can never please everyone!), I thought this episode was amazing. It is the first episode of Enterprise that can compete against great episodes of the other Star Trek shows.

The thing I liked about this episode was that there were so many opportunities to go off the rails and make it overly dramatic or action-filled, and each one was ignored, with the script again and again choosing to take the thoughtful route.

The female crewman (Cutler) could have thrown herself at Phlox, or alternatively reacted badly to his explanation of his marriage situation. Instead she just continued on the course of being somewhat interested in him and wanting to see how it went. Phlox, for that matter, could have acted less maturely about the whole thing, but he chose to get advice from both T'Pol and Hoshi, and then forthrightly talk to Cutler about it.

The Valakians could have gotten more angry, or even violent, when Archer chose not to give them warp drive (especially considering T'Pol's foreshadowing earlier in the episode warning Archer how seductive human technology would be to less developed races). They were understandably not happy with the decision and tried to make their case more than once, but they didn't go overboard. Them seeming difficult or violent might have made the decision not to interfere easier for Archer, or the audience, but we don't end the episode with any ill will towards the Valakians, despite agreeing with the decision not to interfere in the planet's natural evolution.

The script could have chosen to make the Menk's situation more oppressive and thus more easy to abhor outright, but instead they truly were just about as well-treated as could be expected for the less advanced sentient species on a planet. Certainly they seemed to be better treated than humans have ever managed to treat each other when we've encountered a less advanced civilization, and we were always dealing with our own race.

The speech at the end of the episode really delivered a great conclusion to the story, and, as Jammer said, it was earned throughout the episode and seemed natural, despite being such an obvious nod to the future we know is coming. It's amazing what an affection I've come to feel for the Prime Directive over the years. I was quite tickled and moved by Archer's words, which predicted creation of the Prime Directive, and by his adoption, after a night of careful contemplation, of that directive's earliest incarnation. "Don't play God."
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MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

@Cloudane

I had completely forgotten/never knew that Jeffrey Coombs also plays Brunt. Damn, that guy is a ST god.

Did you ever make it through Babylon 5? I think Babylon 5 is awesome, in terms of the story. Unlike Star Trek, it's one of those shows where when one episode ends, I feel like I immediately want to start the next to see what happens. Still, I'm a pretty character-driven type, and I prefer Star Trek just because I have more affection for the characters (simply because there are more "good guys"), and because it's more "fun". I wouldn't call Babylon 5 "fun". More like, intense and often bordering on depressing, but captivating.

Thanks for that info about the future of the monastery according to ST online. I've never checked that out, and have no plans to, but cool to know!

@Paul York

I agree that T'Pol and Seven's outfits are silly and obviously just designed that way to titillate, but I don't necessarily agree with you that T'Pol wearing that to the Vulcan monastery is "improper". If that's considered acceptable work clothes for her, according to Vulcan culture, there's no reason that it wouldn't be acceptable at the monastery. And Vulcans only get horny every 7 years, from what I understand. . . and at the time, they aren't so particular about clothing. I would imagine they would either leave the monastery to go be with their wives during Pon Farr, or they would be meditating in isolation.

@Katie

I just commented about Bakula's lack of "gravitas" below the pilot episode. That's exactly the right word for what Stewart, Brooks, and Mulgrew have, and he lacks. Star Trek sort of backed themselves into a corner by casting those three in succession. Now it's difficult for we fans to take seriously a captain who doesn't possess that amazing presence. I truly believe that the creators did it on purpose, though. Look at the writing, and what he says in reaction to all of T'Pol's leavel-headed suggestions. "We didn't come out here just to take scans! We want to explore!" It's hard for me to picture Picard saying some of that stuff!
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MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

Hi Weyoun! Weee. I am rewatching this show and barely remember the first time I watched it, but unfortunately this episode stuck out enough in my mind that I did remember that there really was a surveillance bunker under the monastery.

I would almost argue that I'm glad this episode was pretty formulaic and unsurprising until the big reveal. Made it even more of a surprise (from what I recall) when the episode made that sudden turn.

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MadS
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

I'm rewatching Enterprise (for the first time, which is pretty amazing considering the number of times I've watched the other Star Trek series). I barely remember any of the plot of the entire show, though I remember liking it overall. . . just not as much as TNG, DS9, or VOY. I barely even remember the characters (in terms of things we learn about over the course of the show, I mean, I remember their faces). Mostly, what I remember is that I'm looking forward to seeing Weyoun whenever he shows up in blueface. What I do remember about the pilot is my initial impressions of the characters/actors, and my initial reaction to that ridiculous decontamination scene. Starting with that. . .

I seriously almost fast-forwarded during the decontamination scene this time when I saw it coming up, because it's just SOO embarrassing/ridiculous, but instead I just kind of averted my eyes so I could still hear the dialogue. I mean, embarrassing for the people making the show who thought it was a good idea, not embarrassing for me. Makes me picture them as a bunch of horny 12 year olds. The ONLY saving grace of that scene is that the camera does give an equal amount of attention to Trip's body as to T'pol's, so as you said, AT LEAST they are trying to be equal opportunity pervs. Well, I take that back, they would have seemed like equal opportunity pervs if they had had T'pol in a lined bra or wearing pasties so her nipples weren't at full attention. I'm actually a bit surprised that Star Trek was allowed to highlight her nipples like that. Was ENT rated Mature Audiences? I'm no prude, but I just have trouble imagining how that scene ever made it into the final cut, once they saw how unbelievably gratuitous it really felt.

Back to the initial reactions to the characters and actors. My reaction this time seems to be exactly the same as my reaction the first time. I like Scott Bakula, but he was miscast in this role. He's just to likeable/personable. He doesn't give off an air of command, though he doesn't come off as a big wimp or anything. I know what it is. Gravitas. He doesn't have it. And unfortunately for him, his brand of amiability feels off not because there's anything actually WRONG with his personality/acting, but because I can't help comparing him to the Captains of TNG, DS9, and VOY, who all oozed gravitas like it was their job. He just doesn't feel like a Star Trek Captain, because, have you SEEN Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew? Woah, now THAT'S presence!

My initial reaction to T'Pol is the same this time, as well. She was also miscast. And once again, if I had never seen Star Trek before, perhaps I wouldn't pick up on it. But have you ever seen, on any incarnation of Star Trek, a Vulcan character (even a guest character), who acted less Vulcan? She is barely holding her emotions at bay on her face, and her voice is dripping with emotion at all times. I saw an interview a while back on youtube with Rick Berman talking about casting Enterprise, and it was totally creepy. He said they had seen Jolene Blalock and hadn't liked her for the part, because she had come for the audition without makeup on and they didn't think she was hot enough. So they asked her to come back for another audition with her makeup done to look hotter, and then they decided she would work for the part. What?! So you saw this (obviously extremely attractive actress) twice, to confirm she was hot, and you never asked yourself if she was a believable Vulcan? And instead of worrying about it, you made sure we saw her nipples as soon as possible? Really, there must be attractive women in Hollywood who can act AND show some nip, right?

Finally, Trip is likable and fun, as I remembered, and cast just fine. (And since they FORCED me to examine him in his underwear, I can also confirm he has a nice body.) Which was not necessary for me to know, but whatever.

The next most noticeable character for me in the pilot was Hoshi Sato. I can already say that she seems more interesting than Harry Kim. And I think her job is really cool. I'm in to languages, and the perfect universal translator has always been a bit of a cop out on the other shows.

None of the other characters stood out to me much in the pilot, though I do seem to recall Phlox getting fairly interesting as the show goes on.

Finally, an impression I had this time (that I don't remember occurring to me during the previous Trek pilots) is that there aren't enough females on the show. I just went online to see what the female/male ratio was on the other Trek shows vs. this one, because I know they're all low.

The truth is, DS9 was the worst (25% of the main cast, then down to 22% when Worf joined the cast). DS9 I think managed to get away with this without it jumping out at me because Kira and Jadzia the (ONLY TWO) females on the main cast, made quite the impression. Both were very strong characters who really commanded the screen when they appeared. They were also 2nd and 3rd in command of the station (and I believe 2nd and 4th in command when Worf showed up}. DS9 is a bit of a different beast compared to the other Star Trek shows, because there were so many important recurring characters, male and female. According to Wikipedia, 15 of the 37 recurring characters were female, clocking in at 40%. That may have helped the show feel a little less male-heavy, especially important characters like both Kais, Keiko, Ziyal, Leeta, the Female Changeling, and Kasidy.

Enterprise second from the bottom, with approximately 29% of the cast female. I don't remember anything about recurring cast on this show (other than blue Weyoun!), but I assume there won't be as many interesting recurring characters on this show as on DS9, 'cause that was DS9's thing. I think the reason it jumped out at me that this cast was so female-light was because there just weren't that many total characters in the pilot, and I only remember one female who wasn't in the main cast even opening her mouth (Sarin the Suliban). The other thing that made it jump out was because T'Pol wasn't meant to be part of the main crew, so she was an "outsider" in the pilot. Meaning that Hoshi is the only female who is "meant" to be on the crew. And she is a bit timid and seems to possibly be the lowest rank of all the main characters? So, the two females on the main cast are 1) The sex symbol officer who shows her nipples and isn't much of an actress, at least when it comes to portraying a Vulcan, and 2) The most nervous and lowest ranked officer.

Finally, TNG and VOY each had a 33% female main cast. TNG did have a great recurring character in Guinan, as well as Ro Laren being memorable. Voyager had Ensign Wildman, Naomi Wildman, Mezoti, and Seska. Voyager definitely felt like the most female-friendly Trek cast, because the Captain, the Chief Engineer, and the "interesting and hot non-human" (Kes or Seven) were all females.

Now that I'm realizing how terrible all of the Treks were at this, I'm a little annoyed. But that's the way Hollywood is. It's been shown that viewers are so used to the screen having more males that when a cast reaches 50-50, people imagine they're seeing a female-heavy cast. The point is, it's no wonder this episode felt low on females. It was.

Ok, I'm going to get back to my rewatch. I remember being glad I had pushed ahead and chosen to watch the show the last time I did so. So I'm sure I'll be glad again. But it's a shame about the miscasting at the top. And that decontamination scene is really a shame.

I like the intro song, and especially the imagery. It doesn't quite fit with the show (kind of pulls me out of Star Trek mode). But I like it anyway. Kind of moving and aspirational. Makes me want our own space programs to keep pushing forward. . .

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MadS
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

I wanted to leave my reaction before reading the review, since you often sway me.

I didn't hate the finale, and don't feel cheated in any way. It could have been better, but it's certainly not a finale that gives me a negative feeling about the series as a whole, making me never want to rewatch. That's the main thing that I ask of a series finale. Don't make me regret ever having seen the show. Most of the characters got a mostly believable (if not particularly happy) conclusion. It certainly could have been worse.

I would say that season 7 as a whole was a bit strange. I like one-off, fluff type episodes (if well done) on other Star Trek shows. Heck, on TNG and VOY, they're the norm. But DS9 has always been a bit strange. During the first two seasons, the one-off episodes were perfectly light and fun, and felt like regular Star Trek. But starting around season 3, DS9 one-off episodes started to feel more and more like a waste of time that needed to be waded through to get to the important stuff. They never felt more like a waste of time than in season 7. And now having seen the finale, I can say that the conclusion definitely would have been more satisfying if every storyline had been given more time. Not only more time for the events in the final two hours to unfold, but more time to show what happens after the events of these final two episodes.

Most episodes this season did include elements of the central arc, but there were definitely a few that could have been almost entirely removed without having too much effect on the overall story (to give us more time for the conclusion). Some of them I either somewhat/quite liked, although they weren't especially necessary for the central arc (Take Me Out to the Holosuite, Once More Unto the Breach, The Siege of AR-558, Badda-Bing Badda-Bing). Others I could have easily done without, (Chrysalis, It's Only a Paper Moon, Prodigal Daughter, The Emperor's New Cloak, Field of Fire, Chimera). I see from your reviews that you quite liked It's Only a Paper Moon and Chimera. I can say that when I was watching them, I didn't dislike them (though maybe Nog could have acted a teensy bit less immature). But looking back, knowing that Nog would go on to be just fine, and that not only had Odo ALREADY been (much more interestingly) tempted and chosen not to abandon his friends for the Changelings in a previous season, but also that the hundred play no further role, and that in the end Odo actually DOES choose to abandon his friends just a few episodes later, making his choice here less meaningful. . . well, I don't care for that episode at all any more. So that's 10 episodes that I didn't feel were especially important to the overall season story, 6 of which I would be perfectly happy to see gone.

Then, there are a few episodes that did have important bearing on the overall season, either to character development or the plot arc, but could have been condensed a bit to leave more time for other things, like: Shadows and Symbols (I wasn't worried about Jadzia making it to Stovokor), Afterimage (I am glad they gave the audience a chance to embrace Ezri, since she was a new central character who came in at the very end, but thanks to the actress and the character's acceptance by the others, I personally didn't need as much convincing as they gave us), Covenant (we needed an introduction to Dukat's new identity as an emissary of the Pagh Wraiths, but I guess I didn't care much about the Bajoran cult, so maybe the story could have been shortened, and maybe taking place in the same episode as the events of Afterimage, for example), Extreme Measures (I didn't care for the amount of time devoted to being inside the Section 31 agent's mind, though perhaps I wouldn't have minded if the episode had been placed a little earlier in the season).

Finally, back to the conclusion. Strangely, my biggest complaint in terms of how a character's arc was wrapped up was. . . Damar. We spent quite a bit of time watching him become the leader that the new Cardassia needed. A leader who understood that the old Cardassia was gone and shouldn't return. I wanted him to take his place as the new leader of Cardassia. Instead, he just randomly died in a small firefight. But then, the conclusion didn't even give us the opportunity to see Cardassia start to move on after the war. I was satisfied with the conclusion of the war, but I wanted to see a bit of what happened to Cardassia afterward. This was one of the reasons I think the season needed more time. If Damar had lived, at least we could have assumed that this character who we had gotten to know would be in charge of the new Cardassia, and we could imagine how he would go about it. As it is, if they were really insistent on Damar not living through the war, we needed to see Cardassia a little farther down the line. Who took control? Are there factions, some of which want the Cardassia of old, and some of which want the "new Cardassia"? The only Cardassian we've seen who seemed to understand the truth about Cardassia's past and future, who ALSO lived to the end of the series, is Garak. I somehow doubt that the population would accept him as a leader. He seems much more like a behind-the-scenes guy. What will become of Cardassia? With Damar gone, it's extremely unclear. But not in an interesting, "these are the factions and possibilities" type way. Just.... completely unclear. I would have liked to have known a bit more about Cardassia's future, as well as what Garak's role or life will be like there.

The rest of the characters finished the series approximately as they should, at least in the short term. The biggest mistake was that Sisko and Odo's long-term fates should have been reversed. By that I mean that we finished the series with the idea that Sisko WILL be back one day, but Odo won't. I'm not sure that that fits with either of their histories, nor with the prophecies/predictions we've gotten from the Prophets.

The Prophets told us that Sisko and Kasidy were headed for heartbreak if they were married. They also told us that's Sisko's time was almost over, and that he would never find peace on Bajor. We ALSO seemed to see his corporeal body destroyed. Sure, from what we know of the Prophet's power and their nonlinear perspective, it's perfectly reasonable that they could somehow send Sisko back. But it just doesn't ring true, with the prophecies we've heard. It makes sense that they would take him to live with them in the Celestial Temple when his linear existence had come to an end. But if they have the power to send him back sometime. . . it seems like IMMEDIATELY would be the time Sisko would push for. You know, to be with his wife, son, and new baby. If they CAN'T send him back, because his linear existence/corporeal body are over, then the episode should have come out and said that (in dramatic fashion, with his goodbye being directed at Kasidy AND Jake, not just Kasidy), and there should have been emotions and tears. As it is, we just end the episode thinking he's on some sort of Celestial Temple sabbatical. . . which isn't especially emotional, and certainly doesn't seem to fulfill the promise of "sorrow" that will be felt thanks to the wedding. Plus, I have to say, I can't see that the "getting married" had an effect either way. Even if Sisko and Kasidy and just been "dating", he could have ended up knocking her up, and she still would have missed him a bunch when he disappeared.

Now Odo, I think he should have just gone on a "Great Link Sabbatical". Of course he needs to go there to heal his people, and it will probably be very interesting for him to spend some time in the Great Link. Plus, he really does need to pass on his knowledge and experiences to the Great Link, in order to help his people come to understand and trust solids. But he's chosen his friends over the Changelings before, and he has been claiming to be madly in love with Kira for years. I think Odo (not Sisko) should have been the one to end the series saying "I'll be back one day, though I'm not sure exactly when. When my people are healed and understand the truth about solids." As it is, he's choosing the Great Link (which we've seen has a bit of a pleasurable drug and sex combined brain-washing type effect on him) over Kira and the rest of his friends. It doesn't seem quite right.

Back to the big show-long arcs. As I've said, though I'm not satisfied with the follow-up (as in, lack thereof) to the Dominion war, I am satisfied with the war's conclusion. But I was quite underwhelmed by the showdown between Sisko and Dukat, which was actually the final struggle between the Prophets and Pagh Wraiths, and the reason for which Sisko's entire life had been pre-ordained and arranged by the Prophets. The Showdown between Kira and Jake when they were possessed on DS9 a few seasons back, which was also underwhelming, still felt more impressive. In the end, it seems like any of the characters could have tipped Dukat off that cliff. The Prophets didn't really seem to intervene, or use Sisko's body as a vessel, or anything like that. It was mostly just that he was able to sneakily push Dukat off the cliff due to Kai Winn's advice about the book and her distracting Dukat. I would have either liked that scene to include a very impressive metaphysical type fight, or even more-so a very impressive bit of dialogue, perhaps between all three characters. I could have used a bit more of Dukat's strange self-delusion about being a loveable guy at the end there, once he had his Cardassian face on. In fact, I would say the best way for it to have gone down would be for Sisko, using his love of Bajor and faith in the Prophets, to have been the one to verbally convince Kai Winn that it wasn't too late for her to serve Bajor, or even form a relationship with the Prophets, with some really moving dialogue. Dialogue that only he could deliver (thus him being chosen as the Emissary in the first place), which would convince her to turn on Dukat and the Pagh Wraiths and for once and for all remember that her love for Bajor should outweigh her thirst for power. Then she could have been the one to push Dukat off the cliff. And if they wanted Sisko to still end up "dead"/in the Celestial Temple, he could have gone over trying to save Kai Winn, perhaps even succeeding, before falling himself. Maybe that final selfless act on his part would be enough to convince her to give up on her self-centered ways. Maybe in a later scene we could have seen her abdicate power and make a plea for a new kind of Kai who would always put the people of Bajor first. Definitely, I can think of many ways that this scene could have gone better.

Most of the rest of the characters had their stories wrapped up in a way that satisfies me. The ones who I definitely don't feel I need any more information on are Julian, Ezri, Quark, Nog, and Kira. As in, those who remain on DS9 and who have easily-defined positions there. It's easy to picture them continuing happily on DS9. Julian and Ezri will no doubt have nice relationship. They've been friends for years (sort of) and are both positive and easy-going people. Nog has been made a Lieutenant, and he will continue to grow as a Starfleet officer. Perhaps now or somewhere down the line he will become chief engineer of the station, since we know he inherited some innate ability from Rom. Or maybe he will eventually be qualified to take over for Odo. Growing up with Quark as an uncle certainly gives him some insight into the types of criminal activity DS9 might deal with during peace time. Quark will continue to run his bar and try to earn some latinum on the side, and Kira will often foil his plans. Kira has been in charge of DS9 on and off for years when Sisko was on vacations/missions, and we know she's eminently qualified and will do well. We even know that she is strong enough to move on from Odo's loss. She's lost love before, and dealt with much greater loss during the occupation, anyway.

Characters who I would have possibly liked to have seen a bit more of in their new roles are Rom/Lita, O'Brien/Keiko, and Worf/Martok. Just a few scenes showing them in their new surroundings on Ferenginar, Earth, and Kronos might have been fun or interesting. But, from seeing Zek's work life throughout the show and knowing the direction Ferenginar is moving in (away from unbridled greed and capitalism), I can mostly picture Rom as Nagus. It actually isn't as easy to picture O'Brien teaching at the University, being more of a hands-on guy, but he'll certainly be fine. Might have been fun to see him settling in and telling the young officers-in training what's what. I have a feeling Julian and Miles will be staying in touch and seeing each other as often as possible. From the many visits we've made to Kronos over the years with TNG and DS9, I can mostly picture what the Klingon characters are up to, as well. Though I'm always down to see more of Worf's story. I've been following him since TNG, and this will be the first time (ever?) that he will be living his life on the Klingon homeworld for an extended period of time. Still, I'm happy enough with these endings.

The two characters who really needed a bit more attention at the end there were Jake and Kasidy (especially Jake, who has been a main character since the show's beginning). Knowing these two characters as I do, what would make the most sense (considering Ben Sisko ever coming back is a big unknown) might be for Kasidy to continue living on DS9 as a base of operations while she works as a freighter captain and raises her baby. She'll have plenty of help/willing babysitters in the form of Ezri, Kira, Julian, etc. And Jake should probably move to Earth, perhaps living with/near his grandfather, and continue with his writing, and maybe also inheriting the restaurant. But with Sisko being "out there, somewhere", will that affect their decisions? Will Jake feel comfortable leaving Bajor/DS9/the wormhole knowing that his father is "there". Will he feel comfortable leaving his baby sibling? What about his friends? Of course he can continue to live on DS9 indefinitely, but at least a few seasons ago, it seemed like he might eventually like to make it back to Earth. And living on Earth seems a little more practical as a long-term plan, in terms of stability/writing/meeting people/dating/etc. And what about Kasidy? Maybe staying on DS9 (where she only moved because of Sisko) will be too painful for her. Perhaps she (along with Jake) will decide she'd rather make her home base on Earth, as a better place to raise the baby among her own people, near the baby's grandfather and brother. And maybe she has family on Earth as well. We don't seem to know much about where she's from, do we? Or maybe Kasidy will decide to honor Ben's dream and live on the land he purchased on Bajor. Especially since she knows that was his dream, and he may return one day. The truth is, though, without Captain Sisko there, Kasidy and Jake seem like they'd probably be happier/more at home on Earth or DS9. Anyway, this is my point. I would have definitely liked to hear a bit more about Jake and Kasidy's plans.

TLDR: To sum up. The last season wasted a lot of time that could have been better used fleshing out the conclusions to the Prophet/Pagh Wraith arc and to the Afterward situations on Cardassia, Bajor, Ferenginar, and Kronos, as well as giving us more info on what will become of Garak, Jake, Kassidy, and the baby. I disagree with the choice to kill Damar, with them making Odo's return to the Link permanent rather than just a temporary visit for healing and sharing knowledge, and with the decision to make Sisko's absence temporary and of unknown duration, rather than making it more final and death-like, and thus more emotional and affecting. Overall the conclusion left me more satisfied than dissatisfied, despite my issues with it, and I can rewatch the show from time to time knowing that the ending is satisfying enough to leave me with a good overall impression of the show.
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MadS
Thu, Sep 7, 2017, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

I like fluff episodes, as long as they're fun, and this qualifies. I like watching the characters screwing around trying to learn baseball. . .

About the "all Vulcan ship", I'm pretty sure it's common in the Federation for ships to have a "majority race" on a lot of ships. Maybe ships manufactured in Earth-run shipyards have more humans, or maybe more humans request to work on ships who are assigned a human captain? (Or Vulcan, etc.) Because the Enterprise certainly seemed to be majority human, especially if you're looking at commanding officers (Picard, Riker, Troy, Crusher, La Forge...). And it is stated quite clearly that the crew of the Voyager is majority human. (B'ellana mentions the exact figures when she's saying that her daughter is going to feel left out on the ship as a quarter Klingon, since the crew is almost all human. I only recall actually seeing two Vulcans, Tuvok and Vorik). But I don't think we're supposed to think Starfleet as a whole has more humans than all the other member races combined. Also, we know there are some members of the Federation who require different gravity or atmosphere than humans and Vulcans. They must have their own Federation ships. . . Anyway, I saw it as a bit of a good sign that there was a Vulcan-heavy ship. Explains why most of the ships we've seen have just had a token Vulcan or two!
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MadS
Sun, Sep 3, 2017, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

@Jakob M. Mokoru

I agree that "For the Uniform" showed Sisko making significantly worse decisions than in this episode. In this episode, it was easy to agree with his final conclusion, that the ends justify the means. But In "For the Uniform", I was mostly rooting for Eddington, which considering how grandiose he was acting and the fact that I never particularly cared for him on DS9, was a tall order.

@Mat

This may be overrated, but I think I would definitely include it in my top 10 DS9 episodes, which is not too shabby, considering how many total episodes there are. And I honestly wouldn't ever be able to put them in a definitive order, because different episodes are great for different reasons. This could be my favorite, or number 10, depending on my mood. That's one of the interesting things about DS9. I think it leaves more room for personal interpretation of the quality of various episodes than some of the other Treks. At least for the episodes at the top. I think a consensus on the top 5 TNG or top 5 VOY episodes would be easier to reach than one for the top 5 DS9 eps. Because we're all looking for different things, coming from a show that does a lot of different things, and includes way more grey characters and storylines than is customary for Trek.

For me, DS9 is almost always at it's best when it focuses on the large story arcs, and this one is quite a turning point in the Dominion war, but yet also has more character revelation/development than most other episodes. I also love character stuff, like Duet and Waltz. Plus, I tend to like episodes with a strong focus on Garak a lot, especially when he's putting his sinister talents to good use. He's the most interesting character on the show, for me. I can't think of many other DS9 episodes that left me with so much to think about after they ended. And I just can't shake the last two scenes. The acting between Sisko and Garak when Sisko learns of the "real" plan is awesome.

@Dan

"'All it cost was the life of one romulan senator and one criminal.'

I guess the 4 Romulan body guards don't count... "

I thought the same thing! Also, whoever was hurt of killed by whatever the biomimetic gel was used for! They said it would likely be biological weapons or illegal experiments.


@Marco P.

"It is not only Star Trek's idealism (as envisioned by Roddenberry) that we are going against here, but MORALITY in general. A Jean-Luc Picard, despite perhaps being forced to choose the same path and sacrifice a few for the greater good of the many, would have commented on the moral ambiguity of this choice, stating something along the lines 'only time will tell if our choice was the right one... but at what price?' Sisko on the other hand, seems to accept the moral burden on his conscience far too easily, in a a way that is unbecoming of a StarFleet officer and even more so of a Trek lead character."

I agree with you, that Sisko has stepped out of the realm of morality in this episode. I thought he did so to an even greater degree in "For the Uniform", due to his poisoning of that planet, even if no one died thanks to the evacuation. It was still a shitty thing to do. I think the point is that Sisko simply is not as moral a man as Picard. I don't accept that it's just the circumstances he finds himself in that makes him less moral than Picard. I believe Picard would have done more to find another way. Still, that doesn't make Sisko an evil man. He's just... grey. Like Kira, like Odo, like Quark, and like (the darker grey) Kai Winn, Gul Dukat, and Garak. Sisko is not an almost perfectly moral man, like our normal Star Trek heroes. But it may he that a completely moral man couldn't have made it all these years on Deep Space 9. He's working with and dealing with a LOT of morally ambiguous people and situations all the time. I like Sisko, but unlike Picard or Janeway, I don't look to him to be the moral compass of the show. And in fact, it's a bit difficult to find a moral compass on this show. Do any of the characters hold up to moral scrutiny??

I think this is why I tend to say DS9 is my third favorite of the Big Three Treks (TNG, VOY, DS9). It has lots of good episodes, more compelling arcs, and more layered characters. . . so why do I have less underlying affection for it? I guess I just really enjoy spending (viewing) time with some honest to god heroes and good guys, and the other Treks are chock full of them. Since DS9 claims to be Star Trek, I judge its characters based on lofty moral expectations, and they often come up short. I mean, I would say the main DS9 characters are all more moral than the Battlestar Galactica characters, for example. So I'm not calling them bad guys. But they're not "Star Trek" good.



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MadS
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

First, I agree with others that it was highly strange that none of Warf's friends from the Enterprise were even mentioned. Maybe they're on some important mission that won't allow them to come to DS9, but talking to one of them on the view screen, or even a throwaway line of dialogue on why they can't make it would have been appreciated.

Second, watching Jadzia and Warf's relationship is bumming me out even more on this re-watch than it did the first time I watched DS9. That is because I've since had a relationship in which I was in love but our personalities weren't a good fit, and I'm convinced it's a horrible idea, even when you love each other. Warf is always trying to put Jadzia's fire out, and I don't like it. Every other male on the station has a crush on her, and she could do better. And by better, I mean someone who won't try to change her or tame her. As others have said, maybe the Warf we saw later in TNG would be a good fit with Jadzia. But they're writing him too serious and obsessed with tradition in all these eps with Jadzia, and it's making me feel bad for her. I mean, I love Warf, but he's not a good influence on Jadzia. Bleck.

Biggest problem with this episode, though, is that "the big talk" between Kira and Odo was off screen! His was a horrible betrayal, and I wanted to see that talk more than anything else that happened in this episode. Maybe we'll see more about it later. . . but I wanted to hear that INITIAL conversation. I think Kira should still be realllly angry with Odo. And in fact, I don't even think she should have allowed him to remain head of station security at first, after what he did. She obviously didn't tell the Star Fleet people who were off the station what he did. And she should have. They should know he can't necessarily be trusted! But they looked pretty buddy buddy when Jadzia found them talking! Come on, she was more awkward with him just after finding out he was in love with her, and less awkward now. . . when he's a possible danger to the station?
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MadS
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 10:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

@Hiroshi

I agree with you two negative points. The Deus Ex Machina of the Prophets destroying the Dominion fleet, and especially how wasted Ziyal's death was. Really, the other characters, especially Garak, should have been more upset. And I would have been quite happy to see her stay on the show. I like the idea of an insane Dukat, but I don't remember (on a re-watch now) how long it lasts. I hope for a long time, or it's REALLY a waste.

I also agree with Jammer that Odo's betrayal seems to be too easily forgiven. He should put his damn self in a cell, or agree to a demotion, or something. He really messed up, and was hours away from single-handedly being responsible for getting Rom killed. And in fact, if it weren't for the prophets, he would have been at fault for the conquest of the entire quadrant, since Rom was the only one able to prevent the destruction of the mine field. I really liked the angle they took with Odo in previous episodes. It was like he had developed a drug addiction. An addiction to the link that caused him to lose time and stop caring about all he held dear. He should have remained that way until going through some sort of extended rehab, after hitting an obvious rock-bottom. This episode didn't do enough to show that the stakes were really any different than they had been the previous episode. So why did he all of a sudden care?
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MadS
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

There's nothing I dislike about this episode, but as another commenter said above, it's fairly "pedestrian" for me. Still, your review did make me appreciate it a little more than I had before. Let's put it this way. If I started at 4 stars and then subtracted for each negative part of the episode, my overall rating would stay near four stars. Because I have no specific complaints. But it's just not memorable enough, funny enough (minus a couple of lines of dialogue by crazy Doctor Geiger, haha), or moving enough to earn four stars if actually compared to other episodes of Star Trek or DS9 in general. Jake and Nog are two of the most "likeable" characters on the show. So I was rooting for them. But though the outcome at the end was pretty sweet, until that final montage there was never a sense that what they were doing mattered much one way or the other. If it weren't for that final montage showing that they'd bolstered spirits throughout the station, I would have liked the episode significantly less. As it was, it was nice. Especially knowing what I do now, that these characters are all about to be put through the ringer. Glad the boys could cheer them up a bit.
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MadS
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Empok Nor

I like this episode, and really enjoyed Garak going full-on evil. He's truly the best character on this show, and though I love all of his witty dialogue all the time, my favorite moments are when we are reminded that he's the most dangerous character on the show, however much he has reformed and been humanized over the years. I really appreciated the camera work at the moment when O'Brien tells Garak he "doesn't look like a tailor", and at that moment, it's very true. The following shot has him looking decidedly dangerous.

I actually could have gone for more time in the episode devoted to Garak being full-on scary. I would have liked the sense that O'Brien was getting scared. Though, the way O'Brien acted (cool-headed) does fit with his personality and fighting experience. Truthfully, I don't care that much about O'Brien and Garak together, though I know this episode was meant to highlight them. I really wish either Bashir would have been on the station, or at least we would have had a scene between Bashir and Garak (constrained on a bio-bed) at the end, before Garak was cured. I want to see Bashir straight-up frightened of the crazy-eyed infected Garak. To sum up, I thought Garak was freaking scary, and I wanted one of the characters on the show to appear to experience the full effects and once again be reminded that Garak is just on a leash, but is still just as dangerous as ever.
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MadS
Wed, Aug 30, 2017, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Count me as a lover of this episode. I was riveted. I love time travel episodes (more than the average Trekkie. Seems a lot of you DON'T love time travel. Gasp. Sacrilege!)

I'm one who often disagrees with Jammer. (I am generally perfectly happy for things to wrap up happily and with a bow at the end of each episode. I like the majority of the Ferengi episodes. Hell, I like Voyager more than DS9. His Voyager reviews are depressing. Haha, yeah, so we don't see eye to eye.) But I'm with him on this one. What a compelling episode. For once, I'm glad they didn't have their cake and eat it too. Well, just a bit of that second piece of cake. (They made it out without having to consciously choose to sentence the settlement to death, so that did work out pretty nicely for their consciences, but it would have been really lame if the whole "copying" plan had worked out.)

I really liked how we watched each of the main characters, one by one, decided to sacrifice their life (Kira), or lives as they knew them and seeing their families again, for the good of the colonists. Actually, knowing Star Trek as well as I do, I feel like these guys were a little slow to come to that decision, for Star Fleet officers. But it was very realistic. Choosing to give up one's life isn't easy, whether or not it's the right thing to do. The colonists were also well-realized, and I really believed that Yedrin was Dax.

I don't like Star Trek romances much, as a rule. It just never gets enough attention for the pairings to seem especially believable. . . nor do I want it to get more attention, since it's generally not very compellingly written. I don't watch Star Trek for that. Generally, watching Star Trek, I feel like I can TELL that the writers are kind of socially awkward when I watch a "love" scene. Pulls me out of the action!

Still, Odo and Kira was one that I was even less interested in than normal, the first time I watched this show. But on re-watch, knowing it was coming, I guess I'm minding it less.

Whether or not I'm interested in it, this is probably one of the best Star Trek romance-driven episodes of all time, the others being on Voyager or TNG (I'm picturing the episode when Tom and B'elanna admit their feelings while floating in space suits running out of oxygen, the episode where Captain Janeway and Chakotay are forced to remain behind on a planet alone together, the episode in which the Doctor gives Seven social lessons and falls for her, to be rebuffed at the end before he can come out and admit his feelings, the episode in which Riker's double and Troy attempt to have a relationship that falls apart in the same way the first relationship ended, and perhaps the episode where Crusher and Picard can hear each other's thoughts and know once and for all how the other feels).

Anyway, Odo and Kira have some compelling chemistry in the episode. I was feeling it. For Odo to finally admit his feelings to Kira (taking her completely by surprise). . . though it's not really him. For her to begin to consider the prospect. . . only to discover that he's decided to sentence 8000 people to non-existence for her. Pretty deep stuff. Another thing that makes Odo and Kira interesting compared to other Star Trek romances is the length of time that the writers chose to make it unrequited. It has been at least a couple seasons that we the audience knew about Odo's feelings, while only Quark knew about them in terms of characters on the show. Star Trek loves to do slow-burn relationships, to create some will-they-or-won't-they (Dr. Crusher & Captain Picard, Commander Riker and Councillor Troy, etc), but those other relationships were always two-sided, and just put on the back burner for professional and other complications. But with Kira and Odo, until this episode, there was a sense that it might ALWAYS be unrequited. Hell, we already saw Jadzia firmly turn down Julian, which seemed like a likely pairing at the beginning of the show.

So... yeah. As I say, this is a re-watch, so I do know the general direction that Kira and Odo go from here. But I don't really remember very well. I hope that the fact that his older self was willing to sacrifice all of those people for her comes up again.

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