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Karl Zimmerman
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

Lynos's "like a movie" comment gets down to one of the main issues Discovery often has - in Season 1, and in parts of Season 2 - including this episode. Dialogue is edited down to the bone in such a way that makes sense for a single 90-minute action flick, but doesn't make a lick of sense for long-form serialized drama.

I mean, right now I've been rewatching The Expanse in anticipation of the fourth season coming out later in the year. Much like the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, The Expanse has loads of dialogue which is - quite honestly - not plot critical. It's two or more characters sitting in a room shooting the shit, either getting along together or (more likely) sniping at one another at least a bit. The purpose of these scenes are character development. They let us know both more about who the characters are and the status of their relationship at that particular point in the show. They are a key part of any successful drama.

Discovery - for the most part - seems to think there's no reason for these dialogues to exist for anyone - unless they happen to be Micheal Burnham. In the few brief cases where they are allowed to take place (such as Stamets telling Tilly to say less things) the show seems to want to get them over and done with as quickly as possible. Mostly it just wants its non-Burnham characters to be plot-exposition devices - to have everything they need to say in a given episode either tie into the problem of that episode or the overall plot arc.

This is weird for TV. But this is normal for movies. I remember reading some years ago that one reason why so many movies fail the Bechdel test (having two women talk about something other than a man) is because main characters in movies are usually men, and screenwriters are specifically instructed to make sure that conversations between secondary characters reference the protagonist.

This is awful, but considering the limited run time in a major movie, it does make sense that you can't really develop more than a single character in 90 minutes. Particularly in an action movie where much of the time will be taken up by unscripted action scenes and the like. But importing this sort of...economy of dialogue...into serialized TV drama is inexcusable. Discovery episodes can run as long as they like, and filming two people in a room talking is comparably cheap. And no one is forcing them to jam pack plot into every single second of the show. They really need to slow down and realize what they can accomplish if they stop to take a breath.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: A Happy Refrain

You know... that it's doing Trek-like commentary and shows us a better future, in a world that pretty much demands the exact opposite from it's entertainment.

Still waiting for the cure to cancer in 2056 :-)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 8:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

@Nukey Shay

"It could be that there is a Moclan revolution story arc in the works..."

I really hope so.

There better be some kind of pay-off soon, for the amount of "Moclan culture is bad" stories we've been getting lately. Because as it is, it kinda leaves a bad taste.

@Dave
" I'm not offended in the slightest by the idea that such a culture might be backwards in its own way ... just because they are "gay" doesn't mean they are a flawless Mary Sue race. "

I agree that the very existence of such a culture is not a problem.

But I still think that - as a writing decision - giving a monosexual race these specific flaws and revisiting them again and again and again is a poor choice. Especially when they're practically telling you straight-out that they're doing a gay rights analogy.

It just feels all kinds of wrong. Not offensive exactly, but still a decision of poor taste.

And again: I'm not saying they should have made the Moclans perfect or anything. I thought "About a Girl" was a great episode on its own. But the combination of "About a Girl", "Primal Urges" and the current episode does leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.
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brian
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

this was silly. It felt like Star Trek: the Netflix show, which... I guess thats what it’s essentially been from the jump. The crew goes to the upside down and brings Hugh back from the dead with magic.

The amount of time they stood around talking while the ship was exploding around them was just cartoonishly laughable.
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Jason
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@wolfstar

I don’t know, the show hasn’t made us think Georgiou is anything more than a petty tyrant. The reason you’d want to spend time with her isn’t because she’s an awesome person, but because you recognize there’s an interesting story to be had, even for villains. Am I embracing right wing politics if I enjoy watching Darth Vader rise to power?
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Lynos
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 5:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I liked it quite a bit. It has terrific tension and special effects with an emotional core which I didn't see coming. Perhaps the first truly interesting/creative use of the mycelial network conceit.

Look, Discovery is an action show. It's not about ideas. It's hectic. It's intense. It's big. It's shot in cinemascope widescreen for god sake. It wants to be a movie.
Well, it succeeded.
On its own terms, this episode is a near masterpiece of pacing, action and imaginatively bonkers Sci-Fi. Don't stop to think about it too much, though. But for me it worked. I'm even starting to like Tilly who did nothing but annoy me last season.

But Michelle Yeoh is still too one-dimensional as the eeeeevil emperor. Hope this whole thing is going somewhere.

Looking up at the comments I see I'm in the minority here, but what can I say, for me it's the best of the season so far.
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Alan
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 5:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I think the fantasy science from search for Spock and voyage home were never repeated because they were so outrageous and series breaking. Using them as a precedent is bad for the franchise.

Resurrecting Spock from the dead and going back in time by flying around the sun were mistakes but one was absolutely necessary for the survival of the franchise. Bringing Culber back in this manner is simply not. It was a mistake to kill him in season 1. The writers don’t deserve the chance to amend their mistake.
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Karl Zimmerman
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@ Daya

The "energy" comment was when my eyes really started rolling, because it's clear no one in the friggin writer's room had any idea how the human brain actually works.

Basically, a lot of people falsely believe in Cartesian dualism - the idea that the mind and the body are separate things. Basically, under this loose analogy, the brain works as "hardware" while the mind is the "software." The body is "matter" and the mind is "energy."

But the fact of the matter is, there is no such division. There are of course purely energetic elements of the human mind, like electricity and magnetic fields. But there are also elements of the mind which are only energy in the chemical sense (meaning, unless you want to want to count borrowing an electron here and there, they're bound up in matter). Much of the mind is just the pure physical structure of the brain. Destroy the structure, and that element of the mind is gone. Fundamentally, "we" are not energy. We are organization, which falls apart via entropy.

There are ways you could use an understanding of how the mind works to make resurrection happen. For example, the whole Star Trek "transporter clone" thing is correct, given a materialist understanding of the universe. Perfectly copy someone's body - including the brain - and you have continuity of consciousness - it's literally the same person. Similarly, in principle a virtual copy of your brain down to the molecular level (most scientists don't think quantum phenomena really impact consciousness) would be enough to make a self-aware copy of you in a machine. And in an infinite universe, the chance of "you" somehow inexplicably popping into existence somewhere else after you die is...well...certain eventually.

But just talking about the mind as "energy" is new-age woo. That's the religious concept of a soul, not how the human mind actually works.

I'll grant that Trek has already implied that Vulcan minds do work like this with all the Katra bullshit, but this is at least semi-believable, because maybe Vulcan brain structure is very different from our own, with their minds operating as "software" rather than the mixed software/hardware of our own minds.
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Lynos
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Troy, I just watched the scene again. I'm not getting suspicion out of it, just curiosity.

He does choke on his soup when Lokar says to Bortus "maybe we can be friends". I read it as a comic moment.

I feel like we needed a little more to set it up properly.

Why is Bortus, who is such a nice fella, still living with Klyden who is evidently a jealous maniac?
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Iceman
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

"Regarding the other objections, they say in principle that there are other episodes with bigger holes. But one must differentiate between buying into the premise of the series (i.e., few hundred years into the future, faster than light travel is possible, time travel etc.) and assuming that people don’t react as they would have in “real life”. When you incorporate time travel into the story, you are almost bound to run into the grandfather paradox, so you can’t blame the creators for not dealing with it well, as it is a paradox. But you can’t expect people to do unexplained things, such as ignoring the complete unreasonableness of an evidence or not acting on one’s race’s best interest (by immediately contacting the gov)."

Yeah, my point was that you have to have a high suspension of disbelief to watch Star Trek in the first place. It doesn't excuse plot holes, but I don't think most of yours actually are in this case.


" One of them is Vreenak’s fake outrage. It does goes well with him telling the bodyguard to leave the room before announcing it, and also with Garak’s not admitting at the end that the forgery was substandard, just that ‘any imperfections will be attributed to the explosion’. Yet, this possibility doesn’t sink my criticism, as there are much better ways to induce truth telling than simply announcing it and expecting the liar to conform. Just ask Garak, haha."

Just because there are other ways to induce truth doesn't preclude the possibility of Vreenak using the one he did-it was effective and got the job done. In my opinion, you're reaching.

"The other one is that this was Garak’s plan from the beginning and that he lied that his contacts were dead. But this lie would be simple enough to detect; and it doesn’t serve a purpose because following the true plan from the beginning would save time. "

Since no one else knows who Garak's contacts on Cardassia are, so it's not really verifiable at all. It does serve a purpose because he avoids risking his only connections to his beloved homeland. Following Sisko's plan would mean risking that.

I stand by my original statement and respectfully disagree with your original post-most of these "plot holes" are nitpicks at best, as opposed to gaping logic flaws.


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Jason
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@Blue_Mike

People just like to nitpick. Obviously S31 had ships, how can anyone operate in space without a ship? Though I think it’s good to discuss the capabilities of the ships/tech. Is there cloak or just good stealth tech, regular warp or transwarp, what’s the armament, etc.
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Lynos
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 1:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Ok, so the Orville does a not-very-subtle episode about Outing (but then, Orville doesn't do subtle), and it's the second straight episode (no pun intended) dealing with relationships/sex themes which ends with an oldie showtune (hopefully next week we'll get something a bit different).

General thoughts below, in descending order of relevance :-)

- After a few hours being on the ship, Lokar confesses to Talla that he's attracted to her. After being taken a aback at first, Talla reciprocates his feelings only a few scenes later.
Eh... What?

- Why did Bortus have to not only know Lokar, but to have pursued a relationship with him in the past? At first it seemed like the episode is revolving around him, but no, he is quickly relegated to a supporting character. You could tell the same story without Bortus's involvement with just a few teaks.
(It seems like the Orville writers are treating this character in only two ways, serious stories about sex and relationships, or a comic relief)

- Why did Klyden suspect Lokar? Only a few scenes before he was happy to have him for dinner (despite Bortus' misgivings (!)), and then we see him following Lokar and Talla to the simulator, ok, so... that doesn't mean anything by itself. I couldn't understand how he came to his conclusions. There was no set-up.

- The whole Ed-Kelly-Marcus plot is getting on my nerves. Thankfully it seems to be over. Marcus's habit of texting and sending kitschy gifts to Kelly contradicts the cool and collected way he seems to be handling himself in scenes.
If we had to see this as a B plot, it would've made more sense for Lokar to be attracted to Kelly. The more I think of it, the more I don't understand why this episode revolves around Talla. You could replace her with anyone else.

- The holodeck mystery was cool but got resolved too quickly.

- The talking "dude plant".... nope.

- Some great directing from Seth MacFarlane, I liked some of the close-ups and the dutch angles during the deflectors test.

- The crew member in engineering serving the cupcakes is cute. Let's make her chief of engineering and get rid of LaMarr ,please. The actor is atrocious.

- Best scene: Talla at the cafeteria with LaMarr and Malloy, learning that much stranger things have happened on the Orville before she arrived onboard...

- While I didn't think Talla needed to be the focus of the episode, the character is slowly developing a personality.

In summation, much like last week, it's an episode tackling serious issues but suffering from inherent lack of believability. Technical merits continue to be top notch. If only the writing was as good.
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Dave in MN
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Xelayans are the galactic equivalent of our college educated intellectuals. Generally speaking, a majority of those with high levels of secondary education are not politically conservative.
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MadManMUC
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

' [...] especially since they [...] '

And by 'they', I mean the character deaths/near deaths.
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MadManMUC
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@ Steven:

'I just hope this doesn’t become a continuing pattern because Death is Cheap is a rotten soap opera gimmick.'

The obvious solution is to stop killing off — or threatening to kill off — major characters to begin with, especially since they don't particularly add anything valuable to any of this series' stories.

Unless they kill off Michael Burnham. I'd be all-in with that idea.
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Steven
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I think it’s a bit of misstep to bring Culber back. Not because I don’t like the character, he was one of the better parts of S1. But my problem is it cuts into the “anyone can die” feeling this series had. Part of what was good last episode with Saru nearly dying was, because Discovery has staked itself as a series not afraid to piss off the audience with big risky decisions like killing regulars off, Saru dying felt like it might be on the table. Now that’s kind of gone and we’re getting this sort of “It’s okay we’ll wish them back with the dragonballs” type of resolution.

Now, to be totally fair, Landry and O’Connell are still dead, as is Lorca (but you never know). And Discovery isn’t the first Trek to do this (Spock, Data, Dax, Sisko?!, Kirk in STID). I just hope this doesn’t become a continuing pattern because Death is Cheap is a rotten soap opera gimmick.
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John Harmon
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 11:28am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

@navamske whoa that’s a great observation. I hadn’t realized that before.

Yeah they only mention the PU, which is analagous to the UFP, but there doesn’t seem to be a term for Starfleet in The Orville, except “the military” which seems odd
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ticonstar94
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 10:09am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I really dislike monologue/speech endings...... its so corny these days. Almost as bad as season 1 finale...." that's starfleet, that's starfleet." UGH

This episode was ok...everything felt rushed to me,
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ticonstar94
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 10:08am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

woops, wrong page lol
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ticonstar94
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 10:08am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

I really dislike monologue/speech endings...... its so corny these days. Almost as bad as season 1 finale...." that's starfleet, that's starfleet." UGH
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navamske
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 10:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

OT as far as this episode is concerned.

I was wondering if the Planetary Union also has a ship called The Wilbur. But I realized that the Planetary Union corresponds to the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek universe, and Starfleet is the Federation's space-exploration agency. Is there an agency in "The Orville" that corresponds to Starfleet? The writers seem to be using the same terminology for the government (Planetary Union) and for the space agency.
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navamske
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 9:19am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Wren T. Brown, who played Locar, was Kohlar on the Voyager episode "Prophecy."
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Booming
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 8:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@wolfstar: I thought it was pretty obvious that Tyler was alive. I also never believed that Tilly or Saru would die. And people were in mortal danger in TNG or DS9 all the time. And Hugh was more like you want him back, here he is. Season 2 does a lot of do-over.
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JohnTY
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 7:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@wolfstar brilliant.

Seriously, is this show written by people who can't get a job writing video game cut scenes?
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Trent
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 6:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: We'll Always Have Paris

I've been rewatching Season 1, and I'd now deem "We'll Always Have Paris" one of TNG's best episodes. People complain that it's dull and nothing happens, but I find it pleasantly low key, moody and contemplative. Like "Casablanca", which influenced the writers, it's all about regret, the "disturbing ripples" of time and memory, and about sacrificing the things you love for a certain kind of freedom. I like that most of the episode is internal, happens all inside Picard's head. And like Gil says, it's arguably the best acted/directed episode of the season. There's a certain confidence about it.

Watching these old episodes also makes me seriously consider season 1 as being more interesting than 7, especially if you take away "All Good Things".


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