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Bob ( a different one)
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Nolan said: "So, last week, like a doofus, I decided to disagree with someone on Twitter about nuTrek. "


I think it's important to keep 4 things in mind:

1) Modern Trek is garbage
2) Modern culture is garbage
3) People in general are garbage
4) Don't waste time trying to convince anybody of anything. They aren't worth the effort.
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Bob ( a different one)
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 2:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

As others have pointed out, Troi should have turned out to be a hologram in the end. Much like the holographic Voyager crew Reg conjures up she contributes nothing towards his solving his problems; she, like they, only give him someone to talk to. She may be the most pointless character in tv history.

Jammer said: "At home he lives with his cat. The cat's name is Neelix. My, what a lonely world."


That's poetry, man.
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Bob (a different one)
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

RichardH said: "I though "THAT'S her FIRST step?" Has she not learned anything from all her previous episodes treading the same ground?"

Torres seems to have a lot of "character growth" episodes but the writers never seem to have the character actually grow as a result of them.

....

I like this episode quite a bit. The symbolism can be a little tricky, and I won't say that I understand all of it, but I think it mainly works.

What are some of B'Elanna's character traits?

Self-loathing ("Faces"), rage ("Juggernaut"), a fear of emotional connections with other people ("Day of Honor"), and a compulsion to needlessly endanger her life ("Extreme Risk.") All of these elements are present in this episode.


She's a half-breed who was mocked by human children. She blames her mother's strict adherence to Klingon culture for driving away her father and as a consequence has contempt for her mother's culture. She's a "woman without a country" so to speak. So she doesn't want to be a Klingon, but feels that she is "contaminated" by it and doesn't fit in with Humanity either. Eventually this leads her to feeling that she doesn't belong anywhere.

To me that's the central fact in understanding her: she wants to belong, but because she thinks she is unworthy she always thinks of herself as a misfit and an outsider. And no matter what anyone tries to tell her she can't convince herself otherwise.

She hates Klingon culture, she feels like an outsider among humans, she joins Starfleet but flames out, she joins a group of rebels and still feels like she doesn't belong even among a group of people who are themselves outsiders. She finds a home on Voyager, but she still doesn't feel she belongs. Everyone is treated with hostility or kept at arm's length. Why? Because she thinks she is a fraud and is unworthy of their friendship and love. She admits as much at the end of "Day of Honor."

On the symbolism:

(strictly my opinion)

- The Barge of the Dead is actually the Barge of B'Elanna's bad relationships. The first, and most important, is her broken relationship with her mother. This is where things first went wrong for her. The strained relationships she has with her crew, and everyone else in her life, all follow that one. She's in a Hell of her own making and she's "condemned them all" as Harry says.

- The Bat'leth - I think this symbolizes Torres' rage. Everyone she loves is harmed by it and B'Elanna herself is wounded by it several times.

- "Defend Yourself" - I think the ending of "Day of Honor" is essential in understanding the Torres character. She says she doesn't have a "shred of honor." Now, you shouldn't look at this as "honor" in the traditional Klingon sense. What Torres means is that she doesn't have enough self respect to admit the truth about herself. How can you have honor if you can't even stop lying to yourself? In the end of both episodes her "defense" is to just admit the truth about herself. In "DoH" she admits her shortcomings and confesses her love, while in "Barge" she throws away the symbol of her rage; the rage that she has used to keep her distance from her crewmates.

- Miral. Torres fears emotional pain more than physical harm. She finds it easier to face physical death than leave herself vulnerable to more heartbreak by connecting with someone emotionally, even her own mother. Torres both loves and resents her mother. She feels guilty for not speaking to her for 10 years, but still blames her for many of her life's problems. She wants to save her mother, but doesn't respect her mother's beliefs enough to do it fairly; she wants to trick the gods into letting them both escape. The first step in coming to terms with herself is when she says she will freely take her mother's place. She has to admit to herself, that no matter what her mother's perceived faults, she really does love her. She does it because they share a bond of love and not out just because it's "the right thing to do." Torres admitting that is the key. Truly connecting with Miral is the first step to truly connecting with the Voyager crew.





There are a lot of comments above that I disagree with. I won't go through them all, but I'll attempt to rebut a few of them.

1) "How dare they show the afterlife as real!" and "Damn atheists!"

- This is about as evenhanded a treatment of the subject as you're ever going to find. Everything is highly ambiguous and you can take whichever side you want or none at all. They give no definite answers and don't attempt to push the audience in any direction.

2) "B'Elanna has no interest in Klingon culture" & "B'Elanna would never take that risk"

- "Day of Honor" shows that she at least has some interest in Klingon rituals. "Extreme Risk" and several other episodes put the lie to point #2.

3) "Janeway would never do that!"

- Have you ever watched this show before?

4) "B'Elanna finds religion too quickly"

- We learn in this episode that Torres spent time in a Klingon monastery as a child. Having religion drilled into you at a young age tends to stick with you to some degree for the rest of your life. Sometimes those buried beliefs have a way of popping up at unexpected times. 30+ years of anger and self-loathing, combined with guilt over her broken relationship with her mother, combined with her strained relationships with her crewmates, combined with the stress of being stuck in the DQ, and topped off by a near death experience - I can buy a sudden change in a person's personality.



5) "Character studies bore me, and symbolism makes my head hurt."

- I can't help you with this one, folks.
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Chris Nash
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Oasis

Always nice to see Rene Auberjonois on Trek. That's two former main-cast actors in a row, with Ethan Phillips on the last one.

Sean - I think the references to the Xyrillians in this episode was intended to explain why Trip can repair their systems. T'Pol needles him on it in the context of not falling in love with strange alien women, and I think that the "twist" - that they're holograms - was intended to have been foreshadowed by that reference too, as the last time Enterprise encountered sophisticated holography was back in "Unexpected" with the Xyrillians too.

And I spotted Annie Wersching straight away as I'd just finished watching her on Runaways. Not sure on what photos you're seeing, but she was very attractive in that series.
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Booming
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

What the hell Jason?! Not that your posts were bad in the past but this is such a nuanced post I think I need some time to reflect on that. Very insightful.

Personally I think that DS9 was several things and hard to pin down. Other more or less wrote it, and I agree, that DS9 was positive Trek in a darker time. TNG was pretty dark sometimes but non committal. Some day they were here and then they were off to another planet. DS9 was far more focused on a specific place. TNG would have been different if we had seen the aftermath more often. The two parters were generally darker in TNG, I think.
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Bob (a different one)
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 11:35am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Survival Instinct

Good episode. I for one think episodes like this one, "Unity," and "Infinite Regress" make the Borg more frightening and not less. It is episodes like Dark Frontier or the movie First Contact that "pulls their teeth."


Markus said :"I can't help but scream out aloud each time I see Janeway being stuck to this living Christmas tree and squeaking "It's got me by the hair"... great slapstick!"


Yeah, I loved that bit too. Call me crazy, but Janeway sounds a lot like Peri Gilpin (Roz on Frazier) when she delivers that line. Anybody else hear that?
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Bob (a different one)
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 11:05am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

I had a bunch of points I was going to make but I see that many previous commenters have beaten me to the punch. The bottom line is that this is frequently a very poorly written show and these two episodes are prime examples. It feels like the writers either don't watch their own tv show or want to punish their audience for paying the slightest bit of attention.


Jammer said: "(Although, Janeway came off as a little smug in the scene where she introduces "Operation: Fort Knox" to the crew; Mulgrew sometimes goes overboard with the body language.)"

She performs that scene like she's a gangster in a 1930s crime flick and she's showing off her "moxy."

Controversial opinion: Mulgrew does a very poor job of acting on most (but certainly not all) episodes of Voyager. Her body language is constantly exaggerated: a swaggering walk, excessive hand gesticulations, touching her face, draping her arms across chairs etc. All of those are things that people do every day, and it isn't like every gesture is wildly over the top or anything, but most normal people don't do those things constantly. It's like she feels that a every line has to have just a little bit of something "extra" or she isn't really acting. It just comes across as artificial, imo. Sometimes, less is more.
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DonMel
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

I have no intention on joining the discussion I just wanted to applaud Jason R. on his view of things. Very interesting thoughts maybe even spot on.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 8:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

By the way (my last post I swear!) there is something vaguely Christian to this idea of suffering and abuse conferring moral greatness on the abused, isn't there? I can't remember who was making this argument, but I recall reading recently this notion that woke ideology was actually an offshoot of a Christian belief system.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 8:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Sorry, I just wanted to try to better explain myself here. On the alcoholism / drug point (Raffi being the relevant example from ST Picard) to an older generation, a person being a drug addict is shameful. A show that has a main character who is so addicted is seen as nihilistic even glorifying something degenerate and unseemly. Raffi being kicked to the curb by her family is the icing on the nihilist sundae.

Yet people talk about their alcoholism, their drug addiction all the time on social media. Just this week I read about Megan Merkhle giving an interview where she seemed eager to announce to the world her mental health troubles, claiming she was tempted to "self harm" from them. She was eager to share details about how she was abused by the Royal Family.

People would not be doing this if they truly saw such things as shameful. I respectfully suggest that this is not cynicism but a kind of inverted cultural currency they are trading in, where being seen as "damaged" (in specific well defined ways) lends a kind of gravitas and credibility. It is a bit like the warrior's scar - something that arose from injury and pain becomes a symbol of strength.

So the message of the story isn't "look how terrible and damaged these people are, what a shitty world" but rather it becomes something more along the lines of "look how much these characters have endured, aren't they great?"

Then when you combine that kind of moral currency with the right kind of person (in this case a black woman) it is no longer a nihilistic message but an intensely satisfying one that reaffirms the target audience's moral worldview. That is the antithesis of nihilism which posits the futility of any value system. There is a real value system being affirmed in these shows, it's just not the one that many older (and even not so old) viewers grew up with.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 8:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

@Luke I think that to many of us who grew up in a certain time and place nuTrek can seem nihilistic. I for one agree with your characterization - to a point. But you have to realize these shows are basically chimeras - they are a hodgepodge of different ideas, both nihilistic and cynical as well as intensely hopeful, all mixed into one bag. Part of this is just terrible writing.

If I'm being charitable here, what I suspect is going on is that nuTrek is intensely cynical of certain types of power structures (the Federation, white men...) and yet intensely optimistic and upbeat concerning others that appeal to its target audience. Even things like alcoholism and drug addiction, which in an older generation's moral lens are indicative of decay and degeneracy, in the newer generation's can be highly redemptive.

I don't know if I am explaining this very well, but what I suspect is that there's a moral paradigm shift between what say Boomers, X'ers and even some millenials would call "cynical" and what current generations would consider so. An alcoholic drug abused person being thrown out by her family could be seen as nihilistic by some, or intensely redemptive by others. An old white patriarch's decline and the repudiation of his values could be seen as cynical or incredibly positive.

I'm not convinced that all the viewers are speaking the same moral language here - hence why I sincerely doubt you would get much agreement that nuTrek is "nihilistic" versus previous incarnations.
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Nolan
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 2:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

So, last week, like a doofus, I decided to disagree with someone on Twitter about nuTrek. Yeah, big mistake. But the way that arguement went has kinda sat with me all this time. Essentially the defendents view was that Star Trek's core tenent is exploration, and thus it should be able to explore different tones. My counterpoint that Trek's core tenent is optimism, and the tone of the franchise should be one that is optimistic.

Their counter the THAT was... Deep Space Nine. Because DS9 to them is not an optimistic show. And all I could think was how surface level are people viewing these shows to see a series that yes, does revolve around a costly and deadly war, but is also still optimistic? I listed out a number of optimistic aspects of the show, Nog's easy physical recovery from a grave injury, the ease of availability for psychological help with that, the Bajoran's recovery efforts and the major strides in that, stuff like that.

The person screenshotted it and then posted a smug tweet of it to their followers. No doubt hoping to dogpile as well as provoke me into saying something they could victimize themselves with. That bait I did not take and did my best to extricate myself from what I sensed could turn into a nasty twitter dogpile, cause boy do some people know how to game that system to work for them and point their "legions" in a direction, as they paint themselves in a certain way, regardless of other perspectives.

But I realized that a) if the reading comprehension of modern (entitled) viewers is so shallow so as to only see surface level of the media they partake in, then OF COURSE nuTrek is to their liking and those damn shows found and are writing for their audience. And b) if that is NOT the case, then perhaps *I* mis-read this show...

So, is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine an optimistic show? And does it provide reasonable justification for the existence of the darker toned, harsher nuTrek shows?
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Bob ( a different one)
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 8:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Dragon's Teeth

They really screwed up when they decided against making this a two-parter; the second half of the episode feels incredibly rushed. They still had almost two full seasons, so I don't know why they never got around to producing a follow-up. It's a shame because basic idea has a lot of potential, but as it stands it feels inconsequential.

P.S. Good catch by Eli. I didn't pick up on the similarities to Space Seed.
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Bob ( a different one)
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Think Tank

I like this episode.

Positives:

The concept of the Think Tank is interesting, and I like the alien-ness of their design.

I liked seeing Janeway in strategist mode. I also liked the brainstorming scene.

Negatives: my nitpicks have already been covered by other posters:


Skolly said: "I like the idea of this episode and the Think Tank, but it wasn't smart enough."

Jason said "I also thought the whole hunting party "paradox" was a ludicrous and pointless charade. Why the Think Tank needed to orchestrate this in order to make Voyager seek out their services will forever baffle me. Let me think, what could the Think Tank offer Voyager to entice them to part with 7 of 9? What could a Starfleet ship marooned thousands of light years of home possibly want that the Think Tank might be able to provide? "


William said: "Moreover, since we were told ahead of time what the plan was, watching it be executed wasn't particularly interesting, and there were no minor wrinkles in it that made it still fun despite us having seen it. It just makes Kurros and all look stupid for falling for such an obvious ploy. The ending, with Voyager rushing off and Janeway smiling smugly while the Think Tank ship seems to be about to be destroyed, was also a little hard to stomach. Yeah, these are bad guys, but it's a rather un-idealistic ending; I'd like for there to be some specification that the Hazari were going to take over the ship but not kill the Tank members on board."






Final thoughts: the ending needed one more twist. After the Voyager crew achieves a legitimate victory over the Tank, it would have been fun if it turned out that this was just one part of a grander design.



Fix the episode: Don't have Seven go aboard the Think Tank's ship until the end. Have her carryout Janeway's plan and "defeat" the Think Tank as before. End the episode with an epilogue where we find out that this was all part of a plot by Kurros and his pals to harvest Seven's nanoprobes and gain intel on the Borg.
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DonMel
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 8:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

The concept of an ocean planet was hella unique and aesthetically pleasing. The special effects in this show never fail (well 90% of the time).

I'm on Janeway's side with this one Tom had no right and deserved to be dressed down ...wasn't what he did basically terrorism? I just wish she'd kept the same enery for The Doctor on several upcoming occasions.

Someone in this thread compared Janeway to Trump ...no words just wow.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 8:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

I just had a hallucination of this episode but reimagined in the mold of The First Duty including a scene of Picard giving Wesley and Worf that speech after their rampant cheating - as a prelude to their court martials, which would take up the last third of the episode.
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Frake's Nightmare
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:38am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

Star Trek: Enterprise - making it so-so!
Where's Captain Kirk! as Spizz Energi would say.
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Frake's Nightmare
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:37am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Catwalk

Star Trek: Enterprise - always barely making it to warp 5!
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GreenJacket
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 5:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

I found this to be a fantastic episode, especially the face-to-face seen. It really gives a good look into the collateral damage of warfare. The "villain" had a realistic and relatable motive, and Kira's response was equally realistic being a denouncement of all Cardassians on Bajor thus justifying each and every one of their deaths; certainly not the typical ham-fisted platitude you usually get out of ST.

"The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy."
-Carl Schmitt
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Michael Darwin
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 12:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Just finished binge watching season 3 after taking the 50% off deal for a year of Paramount Plus. And the verdict is... eh.

In many ways Discovery moved Trek in the right direction, and this season moved Discovery the right way too. Showed flaws in the Federation, and took away some of their invincibility. We have brought in new crew and said good bye to familiar faces every season. They actually jumped into the future. Perhaps too far, IMO, but it was a necessary move for a series that was mired in the past.

On the other hand, the schmaltzy science grates me to no end. If TOS relied to heavily on radiation of the week, Discovery is all about the materialization of bad feelings. Bleh.

I am also unsettled by Gray's character. I know the actor is currently 19, but he comes across MUCH younger to me, while Blu de Barrio does not. I get Gray is probably supposed to look the age he was when he died, but still it feels a bit creepy to me. No offense to the actor, but I would like them to just resolve this story and move on from Gray.
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DonMel
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

Bob said "B'Ehlanna is angry! What an interesting, fresh character development."

Literally her whole persona is making bitchy remarks, threatening to break your nose and hating being Klingon. All of which gets tired very quickly.

I do like how this episode demonstrating the parallels between B'Elanna's emotional toxic waste and the Malon's actual toxic waste. You can't dump your mess (anger) out wherever you want just because it's convenient. That negative energy will eventually start to affect everyone around, yourself included.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

With the exception of "City on the Edge of Forever" I'd have been perfectly content if Trek never ventured back to the 20th/early 21st centuries.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

Just finished rewatching this one. Easily my favorite Janeway episode. What I like best about it is that Janeway outthinks and outmaneuvers a much more powerful opponent. I think that tracks with the "one lone ship" premise. She is also presented here as showing a little vulnerability while still being tough. It makes her a much more interesting and sympathetic character, imo.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

I think the writers missed an opportunity with the ending.

The show opens with the wedding of Tom and B'Elanna. He slips the ring on her finger and says it's a symbol of their eternal love. Here's where I would begin to change things: the two rings would have to be items not created by the silver stuff on the Demon planet. Let the fact that they are not breaking down be one of the clues that unravels the mystery.

Skip to the end. Instead of having Harry, Seven, and Neelix being the final remaining survivors at the end, I would have went with Tom and B'Elanna, holding hands as the ship disintegrates around them. The real Voyager arrives and finds nothing, but the camera slowly moves in on the two rings floating together in space for eternity.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: One

Anyone else prefer Enterprise's rehash of this story, "Doctor's Orders"?
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