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Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

This is one of my favorite episodes in all of TNG, and probably Star Trek.
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Fri, May 15, 2020, 3:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Sixth Season Recap

You know the drill! Here are my rankings, out of five, in order of preference. I feel there's a big gap between 'Step' and 'Tinker,' by far my favorites, just as 'Timeless' and 'Somebody' were last season- but 'Barge' and 'Pathfinder' are simply too delicious not to give a perfect score. 'Muse' is borderline four stars, while 'Survival Instinct' is borderline two. It surprises me how much of the two-star episodes ('Riddles' and 'Dragon's Teeth,' for instance) were great until the final act, when everything went to heck. About 'Fury': I have not recently rewatched the first season, and as a standalone episode, I think it makes sense, even if the logic is skewed. 'Collective' was boring, but borderline competent. 'Live Fast and Prosper' was unwatchable. I was waiting for the title to click and make sense, but it was just another strange and poorly executed detail in that mess of an episode. I think there are more really really good episodes in S6 than S5, but also a lot more meh episodes. The good is good, the bad is bad.

One Small Step: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Barge of the Dead: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Pathfinder: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Blink of an Eye: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Life Line: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Equinox Part 2: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Muse: ⋆⋆⋆
Good Shepherd: ⋆⋆⋆
The Haunting of Deck Twelve: ⋆⋆⋆
Fair Haven: ⋆⋆⋆
Survival Instinct: ⋆⋆⋆
Ashes to Ashes: ⋆⋆
Unimatrix Zero Part I: ⋆⋆
Memorial: ⋆⋆
Child’s Play: ⋆⋆
Alice: ⋆⋆
Dragon’s Teeth: ⋆⋆
The Voyager Conspiracy: ⋆⋆
Tsunkatse: ⋆⋆
Riddles: ⋆⋆
Fury: ⋆⋆
Collective: ⋆
Virtuoso: ⋆
Spirit Folk: ⋆
Live Fast and Prosper: ⋆
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Mon, Apr 13, 2020, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Utterly brilliant episode, with oh-so-many layers.

Bennie derives his inspiration for Odo, a security officer, from his boss, Douglas Pabst, who is obsessed with another type of security- the status quo. We've seen Odo before as someone who prioritizes order over morality- Odo obeyed the Cardassians in the same manner he obeys the Federation now. People like Douglas, the passive in society, walk the line they have been socialized to walk without thinking about why this line, or where they're going. "It's not about what's right, it's about what is."

His inspiration for Worf comes from Willie Hawkins (read: Willie Mays), one of the first African American baseball players. As is implied the episode, black Americans in this time were criminalized and portrayed as violent, just as they are (more covertly) today. Worf is the first Klingon is Starfleet, proving that his species, stereotyped as violent and bloodthirsty, can do the same job as his human counterparts.

The Father becomes his father. That one's simple enough.

Bennie wants to help Jimmy dream beyond his immediate circumstances and guide him down the right path. Bennie changes Jimmy into Jake Sisko, making the kid he sees as his son his real son. The fictionalized version of Jimmy is somebody that Bennie can mold, his fantasy version of how Jimmy would turn out under his guidance.

I cried watching the scene where Weyoun and Dukat beat Bennie. Great choices there by Brooks as actor and director there, as well as throughout. Watching episodes like these makes me want to study film in college, to be honest. I loved the shot panning from the Langston Hughes to the space station drawing to Bennie's typewriter, and so the story began. I don't find Bennie's breakdown unbelievable or over-acting on Brooks' part. Definitely in my top 10 DS9 episodes.

Could've gone with a more interesting adaptation of Dax. I feel like they didn't know where to fit her, so just made her a secretary. Good choice not to overcrowd the episode with more of the supporting cast, so that the episode didn't feel like a series of gimmicks. Nice, albeit strange choice to make the conniving Quark the morally upstanding one- although maybe this was just to put him at odds with Odo. The reimagined Bashir and O'Brien were more boring to me. I know that K.C. Hunter is probably in honor of D.C. Fontana, but I still didn't quite buy that Hunter, who remained passive, was Bennie's inspiration for a resistance fighter.

Meta re-telling of the power of Star Trek. You cannot destroy an idea. When Gene Roddenberry put Nichelle Nichols onscreen as Uhura, whose blackness is a non-issue much like Sisko's is, it changed the lives of thousands of young black kids. Think about Mae Jemison- a little black girl dreaming about being like Uhura then becoming an astronaut, becoming the idol of the next generation of little black girls. The dreamer and the dream. Bennie knows that the creation of Sisko will inspire even more people to see beyond the stars and technobabble on the screen and see themselves in those symbolic roles of power historically denied to marginalized groups. Replace the name 'Bennie' with 'Roddenberry' and you have a brilliant homage to the uncrushable ideas driving Star Trek to go where no one has gone before.
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Mon, Apr 13, 2020, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Fifth Season Recap

Second time watching VOY S5, first time thinking about it through the lens of critical analysis. Since COVID-19 cancelled the rest of senior year, this is my new education. It's been rewarding reading through your reviews and these comments after writing up my own episode notes, seeing where my perspectives are similar and different to those of other Trek superfans. Just as I feel Jammer marked some episodes low for some trivial things, I also had certain episodes that rubbed me the wrong way, and others that appealed to my own taste- I could not stand Juggernaut, but loved Think Tank. I typed up my notes on Google Drive (25 pages, single spaced!) but I don't think I can share the link without revealing my e-mail.

My rankings, out of five:

Timeless: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Someone to Watch Over Me: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Nothing Human: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Drone: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Think Tank: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Equinox Part I: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Gravity: ⋆⋆⋆
Counterpoint: ⋆⋆⋆
Night: ⋆⋆⋆
Relativity: ⋆⋆⋆
11:59: ⋆⋆⋆
Warhead: ⋆⋆
Course: Oblivion: ⋆⋆
Infinite Regress: ⋆⋆
Bride of Chaotica!: ⋆⋆
Extreme Risk: ⋆⋆
Latent Image: ⋆⋆
The Fight: ⋆⋆
Thirty Days: ⋆⋆
Dark Frontier: Parts 1 and 2: ⋆
Bliss: ⋆
Once Upon a Time: ⋆
In the Flesh: ⋆
The Disease: ⋆
Juggernaut: ⋆
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Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Gravity

Tuvok has control, and never lost it. The episode doesn’t condemn or make a farce of Vulcans for being unfeeling like so many TOS episodes do, no- it embraces “infinite diversity… in infinite combinations." The Vulcans are different from Noss, from Paris, and this episode reminds us that’s how it’s supposed to be. Embracing diversity doesn’t always feel right or natural, because nature comes differently to each of us, but through that difficulty, we find truth. This episode emphasizes the beauty of being Vulcan, the richness of difference, and I love that.
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