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Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

I think this episode could have used another rewrite. But most of the tension was really well done, and you can't help but love Sisko when he's asserting his authority. O'Brien is one of my favorite characters, but he just didn't seem very convincing to me here. At first he was taking shit from the from Munoz, and then doing all these worried Grandma faces. I think they make the chief look like a schmuck too much of the time. His rank is also unrealistic considering the breadth of both his duties and accomplishments. My biggest problem with the episode is how it started: it's obvious by now that exploring the gamma quadrant in a runabout is just stupid. Any sane commander would consider the defiant or another warship to be the only reasonable choice.

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Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

"You fight well, for a tailor."
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Fri, Jun 15, 2018, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

I really wanted to love this episode, but I think it suffered - as many DS9 episodes do - from the constraints of a 45 minute time slot. Meany is an extraordinary actor, but the story just didn't have the time to be told. His cellmate - what did he mean, in detail, to O'Brien? I felt that was very missing; if you are meant to care about a character you need backstory. Much good, though - I felt like I was watching how REAL people would behave, not TV characters.
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Mallory Reed
Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Surprisingly phenomenal episode. I'm skipping around a little bit - but this is the first episode that's really blown me away and made me remember why I'm watching the series for the fourth time in my life. Brooks is stunning, few actors dream of such performance.
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Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

This episode is miserable. It wants to be DS9’s Lower Decks, but awful performances from everyone and a stupid premise kills it.
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Mon, Jan 22, 2018, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part I

The performance of Casey in this two-parter completely ruin it for me.

When I re-watched this, I couldn't believe they would continue filming after seeing how awful this actor was.
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Mon, Jan 22, 2018, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: If Wishes Were Horses

You know how I know that Jammer is predisposed toward disliking Discovery?

This fucking horrendous episode of DS9 is ranked the same as several eps of Disco, and is one of the worst pieces of Trek ever made.
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Mon, Jan 1, 2018, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

Fault look above should read "default look".
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Mon, Jan 1, 2018, 1:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

A number of people above ask why neither Eris nor the Jem Hadar appear to recognise Odo as a founder.

But they show no special ability to realise someone is a changeling in any other episodes. Even Odo can't seem to tell who other founders are just to look at them and talk to them.

The humanoid appearance the female changeling and others take on does look like him, but the Search Part II says that is then matching up to him. Other episodes establish that his look is the best job he can do of looking like a humanoid, not some kind of fault look for his species. So why didn't they acknowledge him as a founder in any way? Because no founder they had ever encountered looked like that.
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Thu, Dec 28, 2017, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

It would have been a great in joke if Morn had spoken a lot in the Mirror Universe episodes. Maybe in our universe he "never shuts up" but the viewer never heard from him while in the Mirror Universe he's known to be quiet but he gets loads of on screen lines.
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Thu, Dec 28, 2017, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

If I was Dax I'd be very suspicious. You, Sisko and others discuss how much a pain the Romulans are. Then in his office you go through a whole role play with him on how to bring them into the war, a role play in which it becomes crystal clear that something needs to happen before the Romulans will change their stance. A few days go by, and by an apparent remarkable coincidence an assassination that seems likely to bring the Romulans into the war happens, and instead of reacting like everyone else Sisko mysteriously storms off wordlessly on hearing the news. Hmm...

On a separate note, even if the Senator had been taken in by the recording, how could the plan ever have involved Tolar staying alive? Garak obviously planned to kill him all along but what did Sisko plan to do?
"He believed it, Tolar. You're free to go... Obviously don't tell anyone. The entire future of the war depends on you keeping quiet. Even if we win, the Romulans will go apeshit and attack us if they ever find out. You're not the kind of person to do anything unscrupulous and blurt it out are you? The sort who is reckless after a few drinks?"
"Course I'm not! See you!"
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Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 6:37am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

I don't understand how anyone can consider this episode (or TNG's Who Watches the Watchers?) a remotely convincing critique of religion.

I find it very plausible that primitive people could worship people with far more advanced technology (e.g. look up the cargo cult). But unless one is arguing that Jesus or Mohammed or Moses was using technology from the far future, I can't see the relevance to the actual religious beliefs that people on Earth have.

I enjoyed this episode and WWTW but I think anyone who comes away from them thinking they've seen a critique of religion is seeing what they want to see and hasn't thought it through.
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Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

"I want you and I to be okay."

I cringed at this line. How can you be a TV writer and not know when to use I and when to use me?
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Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

Captain: "Oh, and the root cause of [the Iran-Iraq War]? Well! It was a verrrry important dispute, you see. Yes indeed. Apparently, when Mohammed died in the 7th century, there was an argument about whether his successor should be his son-in-law, or his buddy."

Bit of a stretch to call this the root cause of a war between two majority Shia countries in the 20th Century. Note that it was a secular Iraqi government that started the conflict by invading Iran, not the other way around.
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Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

I don't understand the hate for this one. Easily a 3 star episode for me. If you can accept the ridiculous magical Bajoran orbs doing magic things, you should be able to accept an alien lifeform with biomimetic capabilities. If you can accept evil ghost aliens arbitrarily taking control of people's bodies, then the fact that they create perfect copies of lifeforms should not bother. Not to mention transporters. Besides all that we get some great character moments, a landing sequence and finally a convincing use of the ever popular "cave set".
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Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Jammer, have you considered reviewing the series The Expanse? IMO, it is the best sci-fi show on TV right now by a mile. Also, if you haven't seen it, you should watch!
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Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 1:55am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Mal’s review after Jammers of...

The Orville, season 1, episode 9
“Cupid’s Dagger”

“Peldor joy Yaphit."

- Dr. Finn

"Peldor joy to you too, Doctor.”

- Yaphit (may not be exact quotes)

What a fun episode! Let’s start with the great opening karaoke night. The costumes are just fantastic. The costumes on Orville have reminded me of Angel ever since the pilot had that Ogre with a chilled out personality in Gordon’s holo-simulation. But here the parallels are obvious - and very welcome.

Of course there is a fantastic Host. Hope to see him more going forward. The Navarian ambassador reminded me of Skip, the on-again off-again demon from Angel who is sometimes on our side, and sometimes on the other. And Darulio is a beautiful blue version of the red-devil squash partner from Angel season 5.

Great costumes all around.

If you go back and actually watch “Fascination,” you’ll realise it isn’t nearly as bad as you remember!

@Jammer gave Fascination 1 star, but his review was written 20 years ago!!! I seriously doubt any of us have gone back to re-watch the episode in all these years. Every time I’ve ever gone back to re-watch DS9 from scratch, I skip “Fascination” (the same way I skip “Infection” when I re-watch B5 - why torture myself?).

But do yourself a favour, and go back and re-watch Fascination. It is not a 1-star episode. And what’s sadder is how much you'll wish Discovery might take the time to have a nice chill episode like Fascination. Why is everything a mad rush on STD?

Back to Cupid’s Dagger.

My favourite scene is Gordon and Mercer, when Seth is getting ready for his date with Rob Lowe.

Gordon is confused. (And he plays confused perfectly!)

“You’re... meeting for drinks?” - Gordon

“Yeah. I mean it’s just - just - drinks, you know. It’s no big deal. It’s not like we’re getting married or anything.” - Mercer

“What?” - Gordon (perfect facial expression!)

Then later in the same scene:

“You seem like you’re really into him” - Gordon

“I’m not into him.” - Mercer

“Ok.” - Gordon (super confused)

“Let’s say, what if I was. What if I was? Why couldn’t I be?” - Mercer

“Hey, you can be whatever you want, man. I just want you to be happy. I just didn’t know that you were…” - Gordon (with the key line for this whole thing: I just want you to be happy.)

Later in the same scene:

“Why do we have to put people in boxes? Why even call a box, a box?” - Mercer

“I think it’s just easier to have words…” - Gordon. ROTFLMFAO!!!!

I think it’s just easier to have words. Awesome.

The point is, this light-hearted tale, a classic in the history of all story-telling, takes things to a new 21st century level. Mercer’s bisexuality is not played for laughs. It just is. And Gordon doesn’t treat his old friend any different. He just wants to make sure his friend is ok (which he isn’t exactly… this whole thing is actually caused by some alien influences).

Only the ambassadors’ gay kiss at the end was cringe-inducing. But for a hour of TV, a man can excuse 10 seconds of camp.

This is the second time Mercer has jumped into bed with someone. This is the second time it has complicated and undermined his command duties. And this time, his ex, Commander Kelly, is pretty clear that she doesn’t think Mercer would ever trust her enough to sleep with her again. But the end of the episode opens the possibility of forgiveness. Even between the two of them.

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes it’s bad judgment. Sometimes it’s alien pheromones. The point being, a relationship is a complicated thing. And it’s hard to say what makes it work. And it’s harder still to say what will tear it apart. And hardest of all is predicting what might open the door for the possibility of reconciliation.

But it is the Hope of coming together (in whatever combinations, whether or not they involve green goo), that is the very definition of cupid’s arrow.

This ep shot through the heart. Well done. Peldor Joy indeed!

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Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 6:30am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

One of the curious things about the show is that the characters act and talk in a very unintelligent way - like valley girls and meatheads - even in working hours. This helps build the story: e.g. you put an idiot on that Facebook Like planet, or in charge of a diplomatic mission, and it's plausible when everything quickly falls apart.

But it's implausible that these people would ever be employed in these kind of roles in the first place. You have to suspend disbelief a lot to believe people like Darulio would be a leading archaeologist, that most people on the bridge would ever be trusted in that kind of job and so on.
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Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

First off, anyone who skipped over the @Gee post above, I highly recommend going back and reading it. I don’t necessarily agree with everything @Gee has written, but the @Gee post reminds me why I keep coming back to @Jammer’s site, year after year after year. Somehow @Jammer has inspired an amazing collection of commenters. Truly a gift to the Trek community.

Next, @Evan, "Treks has always had a strong international presence - Chekhov and Scotty in TOS, Picard and O'Brien in TNG, Bashir in DS9. … Discovery's crew is 100% American. You don't even get that in today's NASA astronauts, who are employed from all around the world.”

I agree. And the sad thing is, @Evan, this is just one more way in which the STD creators have shown just how shallow they are.

Because it is all faaaaaaaake!!!!

Here is what the actor playing Captain Lorca actually sounds like:

What a gorgeous accent!

Remember, Picard was supposed to be a frenchman. But they let Patrick Stewart keep his natural and beautiful accent. Can you imagine how much TNG would have lost if Picard had been forced to put on a fake french accent all those years?!?

But that’s what they are doing to Jason Isaacs. Instead of his beautiful natural self, they are forcing him to play an American. Why??? My guess is money - they think more people will subscribe to all-access to watch a show with an American captain, than with a foreign captain.

Same for Ash Taylor. This is the soft and sensual natural accent the actor really has:

Call me crazy, but isn’t that a perfect lilt for someone the creators want to be a romantic pairing for Michael?

Compare that to the height of the cold war, when Chekov had a strong Russian accent on the bridge of the Enterprise (@Galadriel is spot on here).

As I’ve said before, STD is a devolved, morally debased version of Star Trek. And the rot starts right at the top, with the creators. They are a small and narrow-minded set of money-grubbing bean counters, who don’t want to do anything that might reduce their grand plans for all-access. This is a show run by small men. Roddenberry, JMS, Whedon - for all their faults - were masters of their craft.

Although an early episode of Discovery name-checked Alice in Wonderland, this episode betrays the creators actual inspiration: The Wizard of Oz. And Saru is a cowardly lion.

But the problem is, there is no wizard behind the STD curtain. It’s just a small man pulling the strings.
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Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Chrome, I agree. For a change the space battle was actual enjoyable. A little strategy goes a long way. I also agree with your take on the planet and Ash/Burnham. Both were pleasantly diverting.

Really enjoying Ash more and more every week. He’s so good he almost makes SMG bearable. Almost.

The only part of the episode that was a drag were the Klingons. Aside from the captions and the makeup, as @Peter G. mentioned, the Klingon plot makes only marginal sense.

I’m just assuming that the writers don’t know how to write, but that if they did, they intended for L’Rell to be Discovery’s Garak. Because other than lying, L’Rell's desire for defection is ridiculously abrupt. Before Damar defected, he went through so many humiliations over so many episodes, that you actually wondered how he ever managed to stay loyal so long?!

Also, I'm just assuming that the “death” of Admiral Kat was fake, and that she’ll live to sleep with Lorca again.

Here’s hoping they wrap up all this nonsense with the “Fall Finale.” Then they can send Michael back to jail, and get this show on the road with a couple new cast members. This time folks who can act. Maybe even a hot new lady friend for Ash…

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Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 12:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Ubik, you make a good point: Discovery is like a lot of shows in the last 10 years. What Discovery is doing might be new for the Trek verse, but by no means is it new to TV.

In that way, Discovery cannot be called ground-breaking, at least not how TOS or DS9 can - both Trek shows that were very different from anything else on TV at the time. DS9 in particular, because back in 1993, almost no one was doing serialised story-telling.

Almost no one. Almost.

And that’s where @Ubik lost @Evan. Because Babylon 5 was doing serialised story telling before DS9. (Let’s leave aside that serialised stories were a long-time mainstay of soap operas and also many foreign-language television shows.)

I do think @Evan was probably being a little tongue-in-cheek. Obviously one little word (“inferior”) does not negate @Ubik’s entire point. Especially since it is largely a valid point. Plus, B5 fans have a sense of humour. B5 fans are more than used to people looking down on the show, because of the acting, because of the dialogue, because of the production value. Because of Londo’s hair :-)

And DS9 had more in its favour than mere production values (@Evan). Some of the individual DS9 characters far surpassed their B5 counterparts, particularly Kira (vs. Ivanova) and Garak (vs. Bester). The Dominion was far better developed than the Shadow-alliance. 31 blew 13 out of the water. Weyoun was so far superior to Mr. Morden that it boggles the mind. Eddington’s betrayal surpassed psy-adjusted Garibaldi.


But for all its “inferior” qualities, B5 had something - some thing hard to describe - that DS9 could not reach down into the depths of. Londo and G’Kar. Michael and Steven. John and Delenn (and Lenier). The soul of B5 was a very deep well that explored more than space and war and politics. It spoke to fear, and hate, and suspicion, and loyalty, and loneliness (the crushing loneliness of emperor Londo), and despair (think of G’kar’s speech when Narn falls), and defeat, and addiction, and nationalism, and privacy, and sacrifice, and beauty (in the dark), and hope. It spoke to the many and more facets of humanity we wish that the sheer abundance of Roddenberry’s dream might subsume, but which (like Quark), we suspect will never completely be erased.

I get immense joy from both DS9 and B5. Like many of you, I too have seen both shows all the way through, multiple times. But when you get to Severed Dreams in Season 3, it is a point of no return. You’re going to end up watching the rest of the show, even though you know that the first half of season 5 is best skipped; even though you know most of the spin-off movies are not worth your time; even though you know that starting Crusade will only lead to frustration at its early cancellation. There is something so compelling about the arc of B5. It grips you like a vice. And if you submit yourself to it, it won’t let you go, probably for the rest of your life.

N.B., @Paul M., if you re-watch “Magic”, you’ll notice that you are not describing the first loop.
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Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 5:38am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

Hammock Time!

Brannon Braga really is a hack. Why Seth turned to him to write the episode meant to hook DS9 fans is beyond me - seeing as Brannon Braga had fuck-all to do with DS9.

So what’s a hack like Braga to do? I guess, superficially hack together a bunch of DS9 plots and then put Penny Johnson front and center.

Once more, unto the fold:

The Jem’hadar - Penny takes Jake and Nog (I mean, her two sons) for an outing, and Isaac the unwanted robot (like Quark) tags along.

Explorers - their ships gets whisked away a lot further than anyone thought possible for such a primitive vessel.

The Quickening - they land on a post-apocalyptic planet where everyone is infected as a result of war.

By Inferno’s Light - Penny uses a convenient lever-like do-hickey that seems to come standard with cots to pry open her cell.

Explorers (again) - let’s use old-fashion star charts to navigate!

When Isaac said they could get Di-sonium (or whatever) on the mountain that they crashed into on their way down, I thought, oh great - they’re going to go The Ascent route too. That said, I love Isaac’s humour.

Bottom line, keep Braga out of the Orville writing room if you know what’s good for you.

And if you want to do a Beauty and the Beast homage, spend some time on it. Do it right.


and now for a new but hopefully ongoing series, "Orville v. Discovery"

. . Barry Manilo v. Wyclef Jean - advantage Discovery

. . Peter Rabbit v. Alice in Wonderland - advantage Orville

. . Glory Hole v. Beer Pong - advantage Discovery

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Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 3:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Peter G., well said ("I think, reflects the moral compass of the production team.”). Very well said.

@Steven, "the show is missing a soul.” Actually, the production team sold their souls. For a couple strips of latinum a month.

@Jammer ("I could just as easily say this series shows Trek standing for its core values in caring about science because the crew takes the efforts to rescue the space creature in the first place.”)

With all due respect, @Jammer, you can’t bureaucratize morality.

It is implied in “Magic" that if Starfleet didn’t have a rule threatening a courts martial of a captain if such an animal was not rescued, the Discovery would not have rescued this fish. That’s incredible.

Even in our own day and age, most decent people don't need a sledgehammer-like threat of a courts martial to do the right thing.

It says something that this Starfleet has to have such a draconian law on the books to enforce basic decency. And it says something far worse that the law had to be explicitly invoked for the Discovery to do the right thing here. How far we’ve fallen - and I’m not even saying from the moral high of Picard - but this is a fall even from the moral low of Archer.

As one of Londo’s wives on Babylon 5 once said of him, and which I think applies to Star Trek now: “You have [changed]. You’ve devolved.”

This isn’t Trek told from the point of view of nBSG’s Tom Zarek. This is Trek from the point of view of Admiral Cain.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, "Show me the errors of my ways.” As many have already said, your error is not actually watching the show!

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, "How would actually watching the show make a difference?”

It’s incredible that I actually have to write this (and @Skout has also tried above), but here goes. The difference that watching the show will make is that then your opinion of the show will be based on the show. Right now, you are confusing your opinion of other peoples’ opinions of the show, for having an opinion of the show.

It was an enjoyable hour.

Loved the Romeo and Juliet call-back with Michael swallowing poison after Ash died. Classic.

And I’m glad that Harry Mudd got a chance to take his anger out at Lorca at being left to the Klingons, but in a way that has no actual effects on Lorca himself (@Pandapirate, I don’t think you know what the horrible words you use actually mean). That release, combined with the love of a good woman, should go a long way to re-making Mudd into the man we will see in 10 years.

But to be blunt (Emily Blunt!), the Edge of Tomorrow is better.

P.S., st-hypertext is still the best place for Trek discussions on the web!
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Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

This was the first Orville episode I've really disliked. I'm very surprised by the positive comments above.

"We've got the reliable old chestnut of 'shuttle crashes on an alien planet' and the crew being forced to survive. Under normal circumstances this would be a recipe for an entirely dull, by-the-numbers filler plot."

Isn't this exactly what we did get?
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Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Jammer, I just wanted to thank you for your many reviews. They have actually got me rewatching many an old TNG or VOY episode again - enjoyable in itself, and the reviews and your great comments section often just as enjoyable. You clearly put a lot of work in to these and it is appreciated.
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