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Marcus
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

I liked Dukat more as a morally complex character and that's how I've come to see him over the previous episodes. I don't think he was justified in his treatment of the Bajorans even if he was less evil than the norm. He could've never taken up that position of power, or he could've done so while secretly cooperating with the resistance. That to me means he certainly wasn't good. On the other hand he chose to do a lot less harm than the previous norm, which an wholly evil character wouldn't do.

Despite that I still think it's a great episode due to the super par writing & directing, and good acting.

I also think moral dilemmas on what power, technological superiority, and possibly higher intelligence over someone else does or doesn't justify, because not only does it apply to humans relative to potential other aliens and humans relative to other humans - but also human animals relative to other animals. So there are some ties to the ideas of antispeciesism (and by extension veganism) as well.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 2:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Andy's Friend wrote:

"As long as you obey the Emperor ― or nowadays, the regime ―, the specifics are not important. Hong-Kong and Macao are prime examples of this: most people were expecting China not to respect the agreements with the UK and Portugal, but China has, in fact, respected the two-system models agreed upon, and kept Hong-Kong and Macao as different societies than neighbouring China."

Without getting into the (fulfilling) debates inspired by this episode: perhaps you might want to re-think this statement you wrote a few years ago?
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Marc
Sat, May 23, 2020, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

The concept of this episode was great as others have noted, but I'm stunned at the lack of discussion over how completely and utterly racist it is. I understand that native americans, particularly in Hollywood in the 50s and 60s, were generally portrayed in the fashion seen in this episode so it's tempting to give it a pass as a "product of its time". For a show as, great, optimistic and generally progressive though as Star Trek, it makes it even more galling and disappointing and I expect better (even in the third season morass).

I won't go deep in the weeds on this, but suffice it to say that the characterization of the american indians in this boils down to the "noble savage" stereotype, and they are consistently portrayed as simple minded, where Kirk is shown to be smarter and superior at every turn. It also just runs rough shod over actual beliefs, traditions and aspects of native american culture in favor of gross stereotypes, boiling them down to little more than mascot level representation. This might be forgivable, if they hadn't so explicitly named the culture as "American Indians" right at the start of the episode.

I suspect the reason that no one has commented on this, versus something like Code of Honor in TNG Season 1, is because years of Hollywood stereotyping of an entire indigenous people has made this type of characterization ubiquitous, to the point that people either don't even think about it, or they believe this is an actual representation of native american culture. Which is exactly why this type of casual sterotyping and racism is so incredibly damaging.
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marcus
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

man sometimes i think the writers are just a bunch of teenage perverts. were there any women in the writers room? the pregnancy jokes about eating dirt and bugs was just wierd and gross. it seems like they was Kess to be a manic pixie dreamgirl for the show but every thing they do here is just off putting. Neelix is a jealous creep and its boring and likewise offputting. I dont understand what the writers were thinking on this one.
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MARCUS
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

Man I enjoyed this episode overall but it was very strange.

WHY in the world would Kim EVER leave his hot fiance.... to be stuck in the Delta quadrant is beyond me...

In fact its very hard to read this episode as anything other than Kims closeted and repressed homosexual love for Paris.... theres not a whole lot of other motivation that makes sense given the text of the show

I agree with most of the comments here, making this episode about Paris instead would have worked a whole lot better, he has a compelling and interesting reason to want to get back to Voyager.
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Marco
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I have freely admitted before: I liked the season, overall. Not great, but enough to make me plan to watch next season (If I am still alive. At 63, that needs to be considered, given the news out there...). Do I agree with Jammer's review? Mostly yes. There are some clunkers in the season, but between the First Episode "Remebrance", "The impossible Box", "Nepenthe" and "Broken Pieces", we had some strong moments. The scene with Data at the end? I shed a tears the first time, and choked up the second.
Few Trek episodes have done that.
Wrath of Kan, Inner Light, DS9 "Duet.
Did that scene redeemed the episode? I say yes.
I don't know if I the writer planned it all along that way (I am a bit more skeptical than Jam Man :) ) , but serendipity sometime is your friend and if it happens, one takes it and run. Now, if only they would make a series with Anson Mount as Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock and Rebecca Romijn as Number One...

Marco
P.S. Now, what do I watch on Thursday?
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Marco
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Too short...
Anyone besides me cried a few tears when Data died for good?
I felt really old right there and then...
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Marco
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I will be brief, and will using Jammers analogy at the end of Discovery 2nd. While the two-parter finale was wobbly at times, it did "STICK THE LANDING" (emphasis mine). It is not "The best of Both worlds" cliffhanger of TNG season 3 (nigh impossible), but it let me ...satisfied.

I'll watch next year, and hope the will go to a less serialized and more episodic series. Hope springs eternal.
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Marco
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Well, this was a disappointment. Started OK and then went down hill from there. As many of you have posted, and I completely agree, this felt like a bad TNG two-parter.
TNG, at its worst, was a show of beige people in Pastel color uniforms. Take a look at the second half of this episode and see if you don't agree...

Last year, the Discover last two-parter started like this (pretty bad) but, as Jammers wrote, they stuck the landing somewhat neatly.

Indeed, more than actual material, this looks like the result of uninspired direction.
We'll see next week, and let's hope the show will not leave on a sour note, as I thought it was progressing nicely before this clunker.
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Marco
Wed, Mar 18, 2020, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I mentioned before that Picard was made to look older that the actor was. I also mentioned that now Picard looks more energetic and willing and able now. In the first episode on board La Sirena we see Picard longingly looking at "The Chair" but then stepping over. In the last episode he takes the seat forcefully, only to realize he doesn't know how to "drive". It is subtle, but I do think it shows a difference in the Captain. And I think it was done on purpose by the writers. This is not "ageism".
This is someone that had given up and now sees a purpose again. Looking forward to tomorrow's episode!
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Marco
Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Hello everyone:
The reason why I liked the last episode more than the others was fairly simple. I had noticed this before and pointed it out, but no one reacted, let's see if you agree now.
I have seen recent (last few months) interviews of Sir Patrick and he does look and sound older, but he is still Stewart, with a strong presence, if not a booming voice. In the first few episodes of the series, instead, Picard sounded...mopey? defeated? Waiting for death? In the last two episodes, suddenly (and especially last) he sounded more like...Picard ought to sound. Was it done on purpose? Am I imagining things? If it was done on purpose I can kind of get it, but it was very disconcerting initially (at least to me, YMMV).
And the comic relief of all the holograms together is very trek, to me. Or you forget Worf and his predilection for...prune juice? :)
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Marco
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I saw some comments here that were uncalled for. It begs the question: why are you watching? But I will not get into personal quibbles. Everyone is totally entitled to their own opinion. So I will give mine (and you can poo-poo it as well): this, to me, is the best episode of the series. 4 stars? Perhaps not, but close.

Everything is coming together. I am not perturbed by the language (some of you must have been pearl-clutchers in a former life...). Yes, it is not TNG. But in TNG everything was...Beige. Beige and beige. I like a bit more color. But I felt at home now. And the message is pure trek: the past is the past, the future is not written. It almost felt like 1991. That's the nostalgia I can live with.
Marco
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Marco
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

The most “tng” feel of the series so far, but perhaps I liked the previous episode a bit more. Why? I enjoyed every minute of the reunion but Soji’s head tilt was bit too much. I noticed it right away, and of course so did Riker, but had never seen her do it before so it felt a bit “too obvious”. Still in the top 3 this season (6, 7 &1, in that order, for me).

Question for you all: did you catch Riker’s reference to the Kzinti when he was first talking to Picard? Kzinti were the war-like cats introduced by Larry Niven in his “Known Space” series. They appeared in one of his short stories, “The soft weapon”, which was used, if memory serves, as the source material for one of the episodes of “Star Trek the animated series”. I always liked the Kzinti, I always imagined them as 7 feet tall kitties, sort of purring Klingons...Could it be a hook to the upcoming new animated series?
In any case, I am again waiting for next week episode.
Waiting for a TV show: that sure brings me back in time...
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Marco
Sun, Mar 1, 2020, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

So, it seems that "Authority Figure" (sorry Jammers) liked the episode quite a bit (I did too by the way).
Funny that no one posted after the review. Is everybody re-watching the episode now?
:)
I don't know you, but I am now awaiting for next episode. How long has it been since this was a thing? 20 years?
Marco
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Marco
Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The Impossible Box

There are people who like Picard so far (full disclosure: I do), there are people who don't (their full and complete prerogative).

Is this Trek? Well, it sort of is. Is that really important? I am not so sure I care if it is or isn't. I do like this show, so far, more than most of Discovery, and more that 90% of the drivel shown on TV these days. YMMV
But I gave a quick perusal to all comments. It seems that, begrudgingly, reluctantly and with many caveats and curlicues, people think that this was the best episode of the series so far (I could be wrong).
I agree. Good Trek? Yep. "The measure of a Man" Trek? Nope, that'll never happen again. I think the "anhedonic" comment is overblown a bit :)
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Marco
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I am an old fan. But not the oldest :)
I did not experience TOS as a TV show. I learned of TOS when I moved in the US 35 years ago. I watched some of it in Italy (40 years ago?) but did not make an impression. Some of TOS is way ahead of its time, some...cringy! To me TREK is TNG. Non-serialized, episodic. I am not enamored of overly serialized shows (too short of an attention span, I guess) so I preferred TNG to DS9, then Voyager (how may shuttles did they leave in the Delta quadrant ?) then Enterprise, then Discovery (what a hot mess that was. But if they keep the reset going as it was done at the end of season two, it could be decent).

Now Picard (Pronounced Pee-Krd, as Q was want to do :) ). Do I like it? Yes, so far. It is perfect? Nope. But not because a Vulcan is unmasked to be a Romulan because she wears glasses...

It is because Stewart is playing Picard as an ancient version of himself. I know that both ares old, but when you see interviews with Stewart of today, he does not sound as old as Picard does. Is this just a phase on the show, and will he re-find himself a bit, or will he descend into more maudliness? We shall see (but only 6 episodes are left). I find that a little disconcerting (and no, I don't believe that the Irumodic ssyndrome angle. They wouldn't have a season two already renewed).

Will Seven spur him? Is that the idea?
Ms Ryan looks a gorgeous as ever, by the way. Referencing an interview between Stewart and Stephen Colbert (2014), I think the one bathing in the blood of the Innocents is Ryan, not Picard... :) . But I digress. Looking forward to next, serialized unfortunately, episode.
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Marco
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I had forgotten what a good actor can do with ANY material! I am 63 and if Stewart were to yell at me to tie up my shoes, I would burst into tears...But I digress. This is a very good beginning. Clearly the two Romulan are not servant, they are refugees! And live in the big house, and they care for Picard . And when He gets righteously angry over the interviewer not knowing anything about Dunkirk...Chills.

The story line arc probably will drop off at one point (it is pretty nice though, right now) but, frankly, who cares. I can watch the Old English dude work his craft, and I'll be happy.
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Marc
Thu, Oct 24, 2019, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part II

@Iceman

"Or, to take another example, Garak in "The Die is Cast" discovers that he no longer has the stomach to be a ruthless Cardassian interrogator, suggesting that liberal values will spread by association-no cultural imperialism needed."

Influencing another culture to take on your mores IS cultural imperialism
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

The problem with this episode is not that it presents a moral dilemma. Done well, moral dilemmas make great fodder for Star Trek. The issue is the execution.

First, the crew never really pinpointed the heart of the matter: whether the Crystalline Entity was sentient, and thus could be not only communicated with but reasoned with, or whether it really was (1) sentient but evil, or (2) a sperm whale instinctually feeding on cuttlefish.

If you're in the former territory, Picard has a justifiable stance. If you're in the latter territory, killing the Crystalline Entity is justified. Planets with intelligent life aren't cuttlefish. And park rangers kill bears that have mauled humans. (To be clear, Picard explicitly stated that "it may be necessary to kill" the Crystalline Entity, so clearly he's contemplated the latter territory.)

Second, Marr's character came off as a mustache-twirler from the get-go with her threats to disassemble Data. Moral dilemmas work well when each side can make a credible case (see "Ethics" for a good example), even if one viewpoint ultimately prevails (e.g., "Drumhead"). That's the opposite of mustache-twirling.

If we wanted someone to truly critique Picard, either Marr or another character needed to delve into the heart of the matter above. (Troi would have been the obvious choice; in "I, Borg," she observed that there were no civilians among the Borg. And Guinan did the same thing.) The inexplicable choice to focus the first third of the episode on boring scenes set in caves left no time to cut to the chase.

Third, you can't ignore the fact that "Silicon Avatar" is a sequel to "Datalore," and that ultimately is what undercuts Picard's position here; "Datalore" strongly suggests that the entity knows what it's doing.

So in sum: potentially interesting dilemmas spoiled by poor execution and a one-sided antagonist. "Silicon Avatar" is no hidden gem.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

"I rather suspect that if you or your family had had dealings with a rampaging killer, you wouldn't be here defending this thing."

I actually was prompted to re-watch "Silicon Avatar" this evening after re-watching PATRIOT GAMES and vaguely remembering that the actress who played Mary Pat Foley was in a TNG episode.

FWIW, in PATRIOT GAMES, the Deputy Director of CIA, a guy named Marty, tells Jack Ryan -- whose family had been attacked by an IRA splinter group -- that "you are a victim of terrorism, and that does not make for the best analysis." The movie never followed up on this point (it wouldn't be Jack Ryan if he doesn't work at CIA!) but Marty had a point.

We do not, in Western judicial systems, let victims determine punishments -- yes, we take them into account, admit victim impact statements into the record at sentencing, and so on. But we ultimately recognize that victims do not always offer an objective prescription for the appropriate course of action going forward.

I mean, in real life, should victims of IRA terrorism have been able to scuttle the Good Friday Accords?
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The River Temarc
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

In a bit of retroactive continuity, it's clear that Sirella had some sympathies for T'Kuvma from Discovery Season 1. Sirella subscribes to an idealized version of Klingon history and worries that aliens are adulterating Klingon bloodlines. This sounds exactly like someone who would get seduced by T'Kuvma's ideology.

And despite 100 years' worth of changes to Klingon society between the two series, I doubt T'Kuvma's ideology has completely disappeared. (We know that there are still Molor worshippers in Kronos, for instance.)

All of this makes Sirella a lot less likeable than she already was.

All in all, I think this episode suffered from way too may cliches: the angry mother-in-law; calling off the wedding at the last moment; the caricatured Klingon bachelor party. It had its moments, and I enjoyed Jadzia's scene with Sisko and her Polynesian-themed party. And yes, I do think Worf and Dax had some chemistry; but the execution was still poor.
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Marc
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Funnily enough, if you subscribed to the pay version when the site went fee-based a few years ago (on this very day of the year, in fact), the Control issue doesn't show up. I knew I was still paying those annual subscription fees for a reason!
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Marc
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Equinox, Part I

“When we abandon our principles we stop being human”

What absolute nonsense.

The only thing that makes me human is my genes, the fact that I am of the genus Homo and the species sapiens sapiens, morality has no bearing on humanity. I don’t think that having principles are wrong, but ultimately they are the opinions of men, preferences no different than preferring chicken to steak or red to blue, your moral preferences can be 100% right for you and wrong for someone else, they can also change with the hands on a clock, and while you can obviously prefer your own preferences over the preferences of someone else I don’t think that there is a basis for saying that your moral preferences are objectively superior to any others or that they should be an authority that others abide.

The only way that the notion of “morally superior” is possible is if your moral’s are not the creation of men, but a pronouncement by an authority higher than man. However Starfleet isn’t claiming that the prime directive and their ethics are divinely inspired, they’re ideas that were created and chosen by men, they’re opinions and are no more right (or wrong) than any other opinion.

What the crew of the Equinox did was completely right and moral under their system of morality, and that is all that matters.
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Marco
Sun, Mar 3, 2019, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

Discovery is not perfect (undrstatement of the century...), but it has been getting better. I am starting to actually looking forward to the next episode. How long has ut been since last time you could say that?
For me, since the early Voyager, circa 95-96. I’ll take it, for now.
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Marcus
Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 12:06am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

I thought the Doctor here was pushed beyond redemption. Time and time again, he defies orders and common logic. Janeway was far too lenient after he helped the renegade holograms as he clearly didn’t learn his lesson. He should have paid severe consequence for substituting his judgement for the Captain’s. He put all of them in great peril, simply because of his superiority complex. He never has been a team player, and this episode shows just how dangerous that attitude could be with such a sophisticated program.
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