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Matthew Martin
Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Exodus, Part 1

I think it would have worked better had Occupation and Precipice been two episodes and Exodus been a two hour event. Just flip those two and it works perfectly
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Matthew Martin
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2

I think the only thing holding this episode back is a kind of lethargic pace.

Compare it to cliffhangers like Kobol 2 or Pegasus. One ends with a bummer ending, the old man is shot and left for dead. The other ends with tension turned up to 11, Adama marching down the hallway ready to go to war with Cain.

This ends with a bummer as well, but the tension, the operatic drama, the mood is a bit more "going through the motions" than in Kobol 2. I suppose it was a necessary evil since they decided on the time-jump. Once you do that, you're almost forced to lay a lot of pace-halting exposition down, showing us where everyone is and how they've changed.

You can't show all those changes after the Cylons find them, because then the normal New Caprica life they settled into over the past year is out the window. You can't hold off on the Cylons returning until next season because then you have no cliff hanger. All you can both. So that's what they did and the pace suffered.

A necessary evil but one that I would still rather praise for its ambitions (balls, as you call it) over a lesser show that was too scared to take such lofty chances.
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Matthew Martin
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 8:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1

Doing my quarantine-induced rewatch right now and finally got to this one.

I feel the same way you do, Jammer, in that the episode just sort of stops without bringing anything to a thematic conclusion. I'm glad you mentioned Kara jumping away in Kobol's Last Gleaming 1 because, for all the praise that part 2's ending (rightly) gets, the end to part 1 as Kara calls Adama out for lying and then jumps away, is almost as emotionally resonating as seeing his bloody body lying in CIC.

As for this, when you view parts 1 and 2 as a single entity, I would rate the whole a perfect score. But, you can't really do that since this aired as a single hour of TV. In that case, I agree with your score. It's just sort of lacking a spark and an emotional hook that other part one's (such as the ones you mentioned, as well as Act of Contrition) had in spades.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, May 28, 2020, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: The Hand of God

On my third or four rewatch and I think this is my second favorite episode of the season, after Kobols Last Gleaming 2.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for a great soundtrack. This episode had the best music so far, especially with Adama's Theme.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, May 14, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

The Hirogen dont have holo tech but they have the means to create little neural thingies that make you think you are a holo character.

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Martin B
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 5:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

" I am surprised Patrick Stewart, as executive producer, went along with this."

It all made sense for me when I became aware of Stewart's recent philanthropy activities. I know that it's a very common reason for participating in a show not out of interest in the show but to promote something else by putting yourself in the limelight. Stewart is almost 80. Do you really think he cares about the nonsensical story they're doing in this show?
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Matthew Martin
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

best scenes of the episode were the ones that featured Picard and Seven, sitting next to each other, playing verbal chess. The single best scene this week came at the end, where the two ex-Borg share a moment of solidarity, both acknowledging that, after all these years, they both know a little part of them is still gone. Picard leaves Seven with a hopeful word, in true Picard fashion, telling her that they keep getting that little part of their humanity back, a piece at a time, every day.

Seven then beams back to the planet and murders the villain of the week.

Picard's still searching for his little missing piece of humanity; Seven seems to be chipping away at what's left of hers. That's great, great, great, stuff and I wish the whole show was that good. After episode one, I was left with the impression that this would be a return to Star Trek being a show that loved pondering ideas, debating morality, and resolving conflicts. Halfway through the first season and that feeling has yet to reappear except in little, fleeting, glimpses like we had with Seven/Picard.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Full Disclosure: I still really like Picard and am looking forward to seeing where this storyline goes.

That being said, I have an issue with something three episodes in...

Jean Luc Picard, as depicted in this version of the future, is sort of the last bastion of Gene Roddenberry's dream of an optimistic, peace-seeking future where everyone works together, where poverty is eradicated, and earth is a paradise of positivity. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine flirted with abandoning that dream but never went all the way; in fact it made a point to say Earth is still a paradise and that "it's easy to be a saint in paradise" but it's hard to live out in the interstellar frontier.

Now Picard is showing us a future where earth is bitter, xenophobic, and isolationist. Where people like Raffi live in the near-25th century equivalent of a single-wide, smoking the near-25th equivalent of mary jane, and resent Picard for living in his chateau in France. Meanwhile he's just trying to right the wrongs caused by someone else and can't get an inch of help from either the Federation or Starfleet because they've completely lost Gene's way and have become what the showrunners think Britain has become with Brexit and all that.

To be clear, I have no problem with Star Trek using the politics of the day as a storytelling motivator. In fact, I would encourage it.

Science-fiction is, by nature, allegorical. It's purpose is to teach us about what we are, what we're becoming, what we could be without making it obvious that we're being preached-to. Not all sci-fi is the same: Some is overt and cynical, creating environments that simply take the problems of today and turn them up to 11, beating us over the head with our own present sins.

Gene Roddenberry dreamed of a sci-fi show that dared to hope for the best.

He created Star Trek as a way to say "look how great things could be if we only just stopped fighting with each other." Yes there were still issues that needed addressing: In the days of the Original Series there was Vietnam, race relations, economic inequality; but how he dealt with those issues was two fold. On the one hand he made a point to remind us over and over in the show that earth had moved beyond those. At the same time he featured OTHER, ALIEN, BAD GUY species that still had those problems, allowing Kirk, Spock, and later Picard, etc, to lovingly (sometimes sternly) lecture on how stupid it is to be racist (Let This Be Your Last Battlefield), or to send people to death fighting a pointless war (A Taste of Armageddon), or to assume the worst in someone simply out of habit (Day of the Dove).

The key is that earth/humanity (a united humanity, mind you) moved past those things and the drama came from other alien species that hadn't.

Picard (and Discovery) has either forgotten that, or has decided it's maybe too much work, or requires too much of a writing-commitment, or is just too subtle for the dumbed-down audience they hope to attract, to tell those stories.

And that makes me sad.

I said after last week's episode that I was okay with Starfleet being a bunch of isolationist jerks, provided, in the end, they admit their fault and revert back to how they should be (how Gene envisioned them to be). We're not talking about changing the color of the uniforms here; we're talking about something that is foundational to Star Trek itself. Without an optimistic, peaceful earth, it's not Star Trek at all.

Picard's third episode takes the old hero back to the stars. What comes next we'll find out in the weeks that follow. He's searching for a synthetic...I hope he finds the the optimism and hope for the future that everyone around him lost over the years.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Let me see if I have this right...

So, a few weeks ago Disco comes into contact with a giant space sphere thing, which has been gathering intel on galactic life for a long freaking time. Disco brings that bad boy on board and downloads the history of the world part one into their computers.

Later, Disco sends a shuttle into a crazy timey-wimey space anomaly. While there, a probe from the future latches onto the shuttle. The probe hacks Ariam.

Ariam goes to Section 31's HQ (Disco is there on the orders of Admiral Whatshername) and begins downloading the space sphere's info into the HQ computer (a special AI called "Control").

The conclusion that everyone reached as a result is that: Control sent a probe from the future to get that info, so that it can evolve and destroy all sentient life in the galaxy.

Now I assume the fact that this opens a queen-mother of a temporal paradox is just going to be ignored, as happens with 99% of time travel stories in fiction, but is that basically what we were told this episode? Right? Control came back from the future to take over robolady so she could give control in the past the tools needed to become wicked smaht in the future and destroy everything?

I'd prefer something simpler, like saving the whales or rescuing Data's severed head from Mark Twain, but whatever.
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Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 9:44am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

Sorry, but that kid did not look like he had done more than a few weeks piano tutoring. His fingers and hands were quite visibly all in the wrong shape, which is one of the first things you are taught. It did look like he was playing the right notes, but his technique was terrible.
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Thu, Oct 11, 2018, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

@Danni Indeed it was done on TOS, not sure on the episode title, but the one where the Kelvans turn everyone into novelty sugar cubes, the two redshirts on the planet, one black guy one white girl, get the cube treatment, and it’s the white girl that gets dusted. I was surprised that time too, especially since Kirk must lose only about half a dozen women under his command, and probably nearly 100 men.
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Adrian Martin
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

@Ari Paul

You won't get any argument from me. Timescape is still in my Top 10 as well. :-)
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Adrian Martin
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

When I was 15, I wrote out a list of my favorite Next Generation episodes. The top three were:

1. Cause and Effect
2. Frame of Mind
3. Timescape

Clearly, I loved having my mind warped by Brannon Braga when I was a youngster. Though my tastes have evolved since I've entered adulthood (now I tend to gravitate toward Ronald D. Moore's stories of high drama and political intrigue), this episode is still in my top 3. It's just pure, nutty science fiction, and I love watching the characters gradually put the pieces together each subsequent trip through the loop.

I began watching Next Generation regularly halfway through the third season, at the tender age of seven, but it was this episode that solidified my TNG fandom - from the moment the ship blew up in the teaser. Thank you, Mr. Braga!
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Sun, Sep 2, 2018, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

Best part of the episode:

The Enterprise is racing to rescue Shuttlecraft 13, piloted by a black guy in a redshirt. And it’s the white, female main cast members who dies a pointless death! I seriously hope Ben put all Latinum on the Federation lottery that week...
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Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Decent episode on the face of it, but like a lot of others it suffers from some logical or just annoying errors/annoyances;

Janeway’s plan to sort the Doctor out by deleting all record of Jetal (and presumably ordering everyone never to speak of her) is rather cruel to her memory and surely her friends wouldn’t be happy not being able to talk about her. Aside from how difficult that would be to maintain, Janeway seems to go about it the hard way. Instead of basically covering the incident up (as opposed to any of the many other questionable things she’s done) by deleting the Doctors memories, why couldnt she have just changed his memory of the incident such that Jetal was dead when she returned to Voyager or was more badly injured or something?

Since when did any medical procedure in Star Trek leave visible scars such as the one Kim had that set the whole thing off? Dermal regenerators have been around a while.

I’ll buy that the Doctor couldn’t save both people even with Tom’s help (where was Kes anyway?). Ok so have Tom, holodeck expert he is, quickly conjure up a holodeck sickbay and have a fake Doctor that follows his movements exactly so it’s doing surgery on one person while he’s doing the other. Ok be more complicated than that but they made a fully working Cardassian hologram just to annoy the Maquis crew members, so it should have been doable.

Why another random Ensign? It seems Voyager has an endless supply of Ensigns for being killed off as though no other ranks exist. Would have been nice for her to have been seen before (Voyager doesn’t do continuity though).

Speaking of continuity, Jetal’s death is remarkably similar to how Ensign Ballard died (shuttle mission with Kim, alien attack, killed), so how good would it have been for Jetal to have been Ballard? Doctor develops his crisis because he saved Kim over Ballard, then later Ballard returns having been resurrected by the Kobali and the Doctor has to deal with his feelings over it again especially now she isn’t actually dead! Wouldn’t have needed much, just a bit of thought put into it.
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matthew martin
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I think the last two episodes have really redeemed the series, at least in my eyes. I was ready to write the whole thing off but last week was great and this week's A plot was fantastic, I thought.

It was classic Trek, and had a great twist with Saru not actually being mind-controlled, but actually just being a weak-willed person who made a bad choice.

The B and C plots were nothing but overt set-ups for the midseason finale. I get the need to get all your pieces in place, but the B plot failed to do anything for me and the C plot (all two scenes of it) was so slight it isn't even worth mentioning.

The A plot was stellar though and gives me hope that they can pull off a good finale. Their goal to shoot for is Kobol's Last Gleaming.

Good luck Disco
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matthew martin
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I've been losing interest over the past month. To me, every episode since the premiere night has been worse than the one before it.

But this was easily my favorite episode thus far. Other than the stupid rave, this felt like pure Trek. High concept, sci-fi gimmick, mixed with a human story under the surface.

Fantastic. Not perfect, a little clunky and maybe a bit rushed but really really great. 9/10 for me.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

I bet Archer has had to clean up things that came out of Porthos that were infinitely better than this... thing.

I never liked Archer, he walks around the bridge like he needs a crap and talks like he's only just discovered language. But this is even worse. Not only does this "trained diplomat", Starfleet captain and humanity's representative in space (god help us all) think it was a good idea to take a fucking animal down to an alien planet where he was trying to get vital engine component so his crew wouldn't die in the vastness of space when the ship broke down. And not just any alien planet, the one planet where the locals are easily offended. And dogs have a habit of doing things that could be seen as offensive. And how dare they have bacteria on their planet that could make an alien animal sick!

Jesus Christ, its shit like this that makes me wonder how Enterprise managed 4 seasons and relieved when it was finally shot in the head and dumped in the gutter (but not without another shit of a series finale). It just goes to show that the concept of Enterprise was flawed and hopelessly written/produced/everything from the beginning if this not even bottom of the barrel but under it kind of episode is what we get in the second season.
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Sat, Sep 23, 2017, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

So, with Galactica on its way out since the beginning of the series, it being in terminal condition for much of this season and now literally breaking its back... was it, in fact, the "dying leader" that would lead humanity to its new home that was mentioned in the Pythian prophecies? The prophecy already mentioned the "serpents numbering two and ten", which was actually a reference to the dozen Vipers that attacked the Tylium asteroid. I guess Pythia had a thing for space ships, just don't tell Roslin or she'll start setting fire to stuff again...

Really loved this episode, I actually thought the ending was pretty clever. Although it does mean that no one in the show was actually human as we know it. They were aliens that just happened to be pretty much like us... or what we would become.

Only thing I would question is destroying all the ships. Yeh, the "Red Stripe" Centurions have no reason to hold a judge now, but surely there were other baseships out there filled with lots more pissed off Cavils, Dorals and Simons that could just show up at anytime... you know, just like they did during the Fall of the Colonies. Or New Caprica. I doubt every last one of them was on the Colony. Obviously we know they didn't, but Adama had no way to know that.

During all the fantastic action scenes to rescue Hera, I was half expecting the crazy guy from "The Langoliers" to show up and shout "YOU'RE SCARING THE LITTLE GIRL!!!"
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Mon, Aug 14, 2017, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Exodus, Part 2

I was just blown away by this episode. The space battle was amazing, although I do have to agree with some of those above that, tactically speaking, sacrificing Galactica made much more sense. Galactica was 50 years old, run down, part museum, and as we see later in the series, this battle did a lot of irreparable damage to the structure. Pegasus on the other hand was virtually brand new, had the Viper training and production facilities, plus it can land them upside down and would have lasted a hell of a lot longer in protecting the fleet. And the show wouldnt have to be renamed had Galactica been lost; Adama could have used his power as the highest ranking Colonial Fleet officer in the entire universe to have Pegasus renamed. There could have even been an episode about the wounded pride of the Pegasus crew taking another blow after the loss of Cain, Fisk, Garner and Shaw.

The scene at the end in the hanger always chokes me up when Tigh says "Not everyone" and his haggered face says so much more than those two words. And to add insult to injury, after Tigh has had to do unspeakable things to save so many, and lost so much, it's Adama that is carried away by the people and hailed as a hero.

Nitpicking - in the Miniseries, 33 and I think a few other episodes, it took, or was implied to take, quite awhile to calculate a jump, spool up the FTL drive and make a jump, but here it seems Galactica can now do it in seconds?
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Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

A bit late for a review, but with the new series imminent, i have been re-watching all the old shows.

I personally enjoyed the series much more this time around, not sure why, but the Finale is still unforgivable, mostly because it would have been so easy to make it right.

If Seven and Chakotay's relationship had developed over a few episodes....
If it was Chakotay who went back in time and not Janeway it would have been more in character and more believable...
If Tom had given Harry's speech...
If Voyager had taken a beating getting home and lost a lot of the crew it might have felt like the decisions made were important, and the Borg might have actually been useful to the episodes plot...

The list goes on.

I went into this episode with a new appreciation for the series, but every scene made me more and more frustrated and annoyed.

I have actually come to appreciate the writers efforts through the series to create 'imperfect' characters with flaws, but in this episode the characters become completely unrecognisable.

I can't help feeling it would have been easier to get this episode right, than create the total mess that we were given. Epic Fail!
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Mon, May 22, 2017, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Imperfection

Good episode overall but the sheer size of the cortical node cracks me up every time. Seven must be missing quite a chunk of brain to be able to fit that thing in her head. I'm surprised she wasn't hired as a Voyager writer...

So when Janeway, Tuvok and Torres were assimilated, not only did none of them lose an eye or arm as most new drones do, but they seemingly weren't fitted with this oh-so important brain node? Let's not forget they were fully Borg, armour and all, and we even saw Janeway getting extra stuff bolted on (onto and into her head too) but the Borg didn't give them one of those at the same time?

Speaking of "Unimatrix Zero", couldn't there have been some call back to that episode? Not with Seven's emotions as Axum was a bore, but with the Borg civil war. The convienient Borg debris field they passed a week ago could have been from the fighting between the Collective and the freed drones. Or even one of the ones the Queen self destructed. And it would have only required a line or two of dialogue. They had Janeway say they passed the debris a week ago in an expanse with an actual name (that she knew somehow). Why not have her say "Harry, the Borg Queen blew up a cube a few light years from here, scan for it". Still would have been contrived, but a nice call back at least. It's that kind of thing that would have made a nice difference to those of us that care about that sort of thing, but lazy writing trumps actual effort.

As for the new Delta Flyer, it didn't bother me. They've been building shuttles out of nothing since start. Hell, they built the first Flyer from nothing in a rush. Hopefully they also solved the problem of how to fit the Flyer, Baxial and assorted Type-6/8/9 shuttles into Shuttlebay 2 (it's Voyager's one and only shuttlebay, so of course it's name wouldn't make sense. I assume Shuttlebay 1 is a police box that the shuttles fly into on their way in).
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Mon, May 22, 2017, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

"I'd also like to know why people who don't move through the timelines disappear when they cross from one area of the ship to another. If they're not moving through time like Chakotay, then where are they going?

Aren't they on their ship in that time-frame? As far as they know everything is normal, it's just that Chakotay has turned up, which is weird... like when he goes on the bridge. Janeway immediately arrests him."

Doubtful, as Janeway mentioned that Stadi disappeared when she walked down the corridor. I think it's more like normal people passing through one of the barriers is moved into another timeframe. In Stadi's case, with everywhere else on the ship being the future from her perspective, she died as that's what she was in those times.

"Another thing that bugs me. If Wildman & Icheb are in the future why are they wearing out of date uniforms? We already know their current ones are old style."

Voyager never updates their uniforms (the only Trek series not to actually), not even after Contact was made with Starfleet and they saw the new uniforms. Real world it kept Voyager and DS9 visually different because the producers think we're all stupid. In universe, it would probably be hand waved with a "we can't afford the power for 150 new uniforms" line (Not that the replicators wouldn't then recycle the old uniforms) not that power/resources were ever a problem when they were building new shuttles and rebuilding the whole ship. I guess it's a captain's discretion thing too, and we don't really want a repeat of the uniform mess we had in "Generations". But yeh, Naomi and Icheb had the right uniforms for the ship, regardless of what starfleet was actually using.

Speaking of uniforms, did the Doctor give Chakotay's uniform, commbadge and rank insignia a Timey-Wimy injection too as they had no problem going with him through the rifts when the medkit didn't in the turbo lift. How did Chakotay do that to Janeway's uniform, commbadge and rank pips to get her through? Especially when he was holding her hostage at the time?
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Sun, May 21, 2017, 6:16am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Unimatrix Zero, Part II


"Also...what is the insignia Chakotay has on his collar? It's not the usual 3 pips of a commander / first officer, but rather a long rounded bar."

That is a Starfleet field commission insignia that all of Voyager's Maquis wear. If you look close, they all have various numbers of bars/slashes on them in the same way the pips do to denote rank. Interestingly, Chakotay's has two good bars and one black, making his field commission actually equivalent to a Lt. Commander, despite him only ever being addressed and listed in the opening titles as "Commander" (Torres likewise actually shows a Lt J.G. pin) Second interesting thing is that in "Before And After", Chakotay wore the proper four pips of Captain after Janeway had died. Is there no field commission pin for Captain, or did he pull the pips off Janeway as they closed the lid on her torpedo?

But yeh, they're field commission ranks as I doubt Starfleet protocols allowed Janeway to give actual Starfleet ranks (or NCO ranks) to what were effectively captured terrorists. Paris got a normal Starfleet rank in "Caretaker" presumably because he had been captured and was being punished at the time, so he was "free" so to speak.
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Sun, May 21, 2017, 4:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

As others have touched on, I really don't see the moral dilemma here, at least not as much as it is played up. Yes you don't want to kill a creature if you don't have to, but this thing has destroyed at least a dozen planets along with all but a few of the inhabitants. So why, when faced with this deadly threat that is even incredibly hard to track and find that doesn't give warning of its appearances, is the Enterprise the only starship apparently looking for the thing? My main beef though is that through the rest of the series, the crew, and Starfleet in general apparently, are so much more concerned with dealing with Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians etc when there is effectively a planet killer roaming Federation space! There should have been fleets of ships looking to destroy this thing and not just Starfleet as I doubt the Entity would restrict itself to Federation/human planets. This is a threat to the galaxy not unlike the Borg, and we know how hard Picard would fight to beat them. Why is the Entity not one of Starfleet's most wanted?

Also, communicating with the Entity is apparently very difficult here. But didn't Lore, who is mentioned several times in this episode, communicate with it? And not in any super special, just invented it, method. He spoke to it in a normal voice over the regular comm system. Picard could have tried that, or even tried to have Data pretend to be Lore to tell it to get lost. At least that would have prevented Marr's sonic attack on it.

And what kind of scientist is Marr when she can't even hold a tricorder the right way up? When she was talking to Data in the caves, it was upside down in the shots of her towards to the end of the conversation. All she should have got scans of were herself. Not even Data, the science guy, noticed!
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