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Nicsha
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

@Booming

That was a gorgeous riposte to @Trent's hyperbole. When you want your criticism to reek of unearned authority, cite to philosophers and be sure to use their abstruse references as abstrusely as possible (those philosophers' observations could be used to indict a Kubrick or a Tarkovsky; the observations speak to nothing about Discovery in particulalr and everything toward satisfying a need to make one's criticism more "wordly" than yours or mine and therefore more "correct." Nothing says critical sophistication like launching a missile to kill a mouse.
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Nicholas
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II


" Orville had an upgraded Armor that was superior to all the armor in the fleet. Thanks to Bortus old boyfriend."

Agreed, they did indicate that.


"We've been told in the past they operate as a hive mind but there's no evidence of that here, which is a contrivance."

When have we been told this? They clearly can join when they all tap into the mainframe, but it seems they were designed specifically to be individuals, not be in constant contact. I disagree completely that they are a hive mind. I think that's a projection from the borg. If anything they show every sign of not being a hive mind, though I think the Kaylon on the planet do often interconnect to communicate and come to consensus with Prime I don't think this is their main state. I do agree however that they should have some form of radio communication that they should be able to use. With the speed they were disabled the others should have easily been able to open up a channel to warn the other kaylon considering how fast they think, so I do think that was misplayed a bit.

As far as emotions... at their base emotions are algorithms that guide our actions. Kaylons do have these algorithms and Isaac even describes adjusting his to accomodate Claire. In this sense they have emotions which they have direct access too. They've also shown that these algorithms have been corrupted by the torture they received from their creators. They seem to have the state of "fearful" of biologicals. Though they may not "feel" this fear they do have the emotional equivalent of an algorithm that tells them to "fear" biologicals as unpredictable, or algorithms if you will that tell them to take "fear" actions. So even though they might not "feel" fear, hate or disdain it is programmed into them, particularly disdain which they constantly show. It's the "non-emotional" equivalent of "emotions".

As far as Isaac, he's easily it least 702 years old, lest we forget that he spent time among biologicals for 700 years that treated him as a teacher and member of their society. He could easily have a MUCH more complex understanding of biologicals and the routes to take with them then the main Kaylon group, and I wish "The Orville" had leaned on that episode a little more, though I understand that they are trying to make the series more episodic then serial.
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Cynic
Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

I assume most of this episode - everything after the "cancer causing" Kalon scan about 10 minutes in - is a simulation. That "scan" was actually putting the crew into the simulation, either holographic or all in the crew's head. I thought this the minute the scan occurred, and the rest of the episode with its seemingly unresettable consequences would seem to confirm it. The Kalon lured the Orville to their planet with Isaac's shutdown and are doing something like what the Dominion did to the Defiant crew in DS9's "The Search." A final test to see whether the Union is worthy? If so, a good ending would be the Kalons finding that the crew passes this test and deciding to join but the Union telling them to take a hike after how they treated people in this scenario.
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Nick B
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

A self-contained Disaster episode with a unique take on the danger itself. The The journey into death is explored here (hence the reference to Charon the ferryman of the dead), but I think the main message was about the legacy we leave behind.

Definitely more in line with a season 2 episode. An all-around slow, thougtful show.
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Nicholas Sergi
Fri, Jan 25, 2019, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

Ok so I realize that astrology isn't relevant today the way social media acceptance is (see Majority Rule) but perhaps the astrology theme of judging people was more of a reflection of all of the things going on today in terms of gender and identity politics .. and using astrology instead of those things directly was the show's way of avoiding being on the nose
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Nicholas Sergi
Fri, Jan 25, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@Charles .. because the show isn't overly concerned with serialization. Plus they wanted to reach the planet before the Krill does, and Orville is closer because it got the message first.. and because the two cases are very different
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Nicholas Sergi
Fri, Jan 18, 2019, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

it was a huge mess.
1.) I thought the Michael inner monologue that begane (I think) with her saying space the final frontier .. was not in a good place in the show.. i thought it was a new opening credit sequence. All the flashbacks to her childhood were weak.
2) treating Connelly like just some dude to be killed WTF
3) so is number one a character or not. She was.. there.. yet the camera and the characters ignored her
4) the editing sucked
5.) so the whole asteroid / crashed ship set made no sense.. one second it looks like a three story-tall set the next you are in a plastic tube a'la ET
6) Pike says.. in the middle of a scene on a bridge.. that his mission is suddenly over and gives it to Saru WTF I mean WTF
7) the very next scene he says he is staying aboard and has a Discovery uniform WTF I'm not sure if that was number one or not ebcause the camera avoided her.. as did the other charcters. The epsiode was so busy yet I have almost no more idea of what the story was about than wha tI got out of the trailers for the episode. Pulsars, stars, signal.. learned nothing at all
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Nicholas Sergi
Fri, Jan 18, 2019, 12:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

So, uh.. they warp to this place they've NEVER been before they plan on having Sarek disembark.??? Where is he gonna go?
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Nic
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

Sorry to point this out but all those stating that this episode isn't great (or even good) based on how unrealistic it is in terms of the legal proceedings are completely missing the point of the episode.

The episode is designed to explore the issue of Data's sentience and the legal procedure is used merely as a set piece.

To state that it isn't good because of how unrealistic the court scenes/system are is the equivalent of derailing the entire series based on how 'unrealistic' the situations are. The entire premise of star trek stands on such flimsy limbs that unless you suspend your disbelief you will never enjoy any of it.
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Cynic
Fri, Jan 4, 2019, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

We got a disco version of the DISCO theme music. How meta is that?
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Nic
Wed, Dec 5, 2018, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant

Here already the seeds of the botched ending of the pah-wraith arc being planted. Obviously, Dukat's followers are one-dimensional; they should have turned against him more gradually, and maybe more of them (not just Fala) should have continued to believe even after the Kira's revelations.

But there's an even more interesting grey area that unfortunately was only hinted at but never explored: when Dukat asks why the Prophets let the Occupation happen, that is a legitimate question. Do the Prophets really care about Bajor? Or are they just using Bajoran's faith in them for their own purposes? Seeing how blind faith can lead some people astray could have and should have led Kira to question her own beliefs in the Prophets (for example, if Opaka had asked her to commit suicide in order to "join" the Prophets in the Celestial Temple, would she have done it?). Unfortunately Kira is depicted as 100% right while the Pah-wraith followers as 100% wrong, making this a classic and boring good vs. evil story.
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Unicornmayo
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

@RahulG

The Cardassian was killed trying to re-enter the base after Starfleet no showed and mosssed the extraction. If Worf had made the extraction point, he would have survived.
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Nic
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I am at least mildly intrigued at Stewart's return to the franchise. There are still interesting issues to explore with Picard's character (which doesn't necessarily mean that they'll do it right, but at least there's the potential).

I see no potential at all, however, in the casting of Ethan Peck as a younger version of Spock in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. Haven't we had enough Original Series homages/ripoffs (depending on how you feel about that sort of thing) already? We've already got Zachary Quinto playing Spock in the film series, and I wasn't thrilled with the endless aping of the classic films in "Into Darkness" and "Beyond". Enough already! If you can't write something original, find another job.
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Nic
Wed, Feb 28, 2018, 10:36am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Abigail Nussbaum brought up an interesting point on her blog Asking the Wrong Questions:

"What's even more problematic about the attempted genocide storyline is how it reveals the shallowness of Discovery's idea of Star Trek. Like the reboot movies before it, Discovery seems to think that the most--perhaps the only--interesting question to ask within the Star Trek universe is "should we have a Federation?" Does it, for example, make a civilization weak to live in peace and prosperity? And what happens when such a society meets an existential threat? Does it give up its values and civil liberties in order to survive? But the thing is, this is literally the most boring, basic question one can ask about Star Trek. The real challenges posed by a society like the Federation aren't questions of IF, but of HOW. How do you create a truly just, fair, equal society? How do you balance freedom of conscience and opinion with your core values of tolerance and peace? How do you prevent the exploitation of those who are weaker than you? How do you help people outside your society, and do you have the right to encourage them to be more like you?

It's been close to twenty years since any work with Star Trek in the title even tried to address these questions, and in some ways Discovery feels like it's going backwards. Even as it prides itself on honoring Federation values in its big moments, it misses their complete violation in its small ones. When Burnham arrives on Discovery in a group of other prisoners--who are apparently being press-ganged to work in dilithium mines--they're greeted by security chief Landry (Rekha Sharma), who remarks that "I see we're unloading all kinds of garbage today". When Lorca and Tyler are held prisoner by the Klingons and mount an escape, they leave behind a fellow Federation citizen who had been informing on them to their captors, even though he begs to be taken along. Worst of all, only two episodes before Discovery's crew refuses to blow up Qo'noS, they blow up the Imperial City-Ship in the mirror universe, with probably tens of thousands of people on board, without anyone even mentioning the subject of collateral damage. At best, this is sloppy writing. At worst, it's an indication that Discovery's writers have only the faintest, broadest understanding of what Federation values are. That whenever they're not writing a story that is explicitly about Federation values, they default to some kind of space opera standard where heroic characters shoot first, think only of themselves, and don't care what kind of society they live in."

That's a shame, and while Discovery may one day become a good show, I seriously doubt that it can one day be good Trek.
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Nic
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I read on the Internet that "Discovery is fun, as long as you don’t think too much about it afterwards". Well, that’s too bad for me, because I like stories that make me think. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that is so all over the place (thematically, tonally, etc.) and yet doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere interesting.

This particular episode wasn’t the worst of the season, nor was it the best. It had its moments that worked and many more that didn’t, including, surprisingly, the totally unearned "We are Starfleet" moment where Burnham decides and easily convinces everyone that they shouldn’t commit genocide. You’d think that would be one of the first things you learn as a Starfleet cadet. And why does no one have a problem with L’Rell using the THREAT of genocide to force the Klingon houses to unite against their will? And what if they were to discover that the bomb was designed by Starfleet? Don’t you think they’d be a little bit angry? Burnham’s speech at the end was nicely performed, but it was filled with platitudes that had nothing to do with what has happened to these characters over the course of the season.

As Jammer rightfully said, what has this season been about?

The show definitely works better when you forget it’s Star Trek and just pretend it’s set in a completely new universe. Which is why, when they get the distress call from Pike’s Enterprise, I was disappointed. Not because the idea is bad per se, but because I know that the writers will somehow find a hundred ways to screw it up.

For the record, here’s my completely subjective ranking of each Trek series’ first season.

TOS 7.0/10
VOY 6.9/10
DS9 6.6/10
ENT 6.5/10
TNG 5.5/10
DIS 5.5/10

So, overall, I’ve found this season to be about equal in quality to TNG’s first season (which until now was the single worst season of Trek I'd seen). It’s interesting to compare the two, because they were both the first Trek series to air in over ten years, and they both had a revolving door of writers (I’m sure Bryan Fuller’s departure as creater/showrunner before the show even premiered didn’t help). TNG had lower lows and higher highs; Discovery hasn’t had episodes as bad as "Code of Honor" or "When the Bough Breaks" (though certain individual scenes have been that bad), but it also hasn’t done anything as good as "11001001" and, for some reason, I don't expect it ever will.
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Cynic
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Re: The phasered fortune cookies. The odd thing about them since their first appearance in Ep 3 is that we never saw a fortune paper come out of any of them. And now we never will.
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Nic
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 7:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

This episode had its moments, and its feel and pace was certainly close to what I would like to see on a regular basis. But it still hinges on us accepting all the craziness that came before at face value, which I can’t. In an episodic series, when you get a “turkey” episode, you can just pretend it never happened and move on. In a serialized show, if you have a bad storyline, you’re stuck with it.
And even with this episode,

- I haven’t counted, but I think there have been more mind melds in this season than in any other season of Trek.
- Some of you have complained about Sonequa Martin-Green’s acting. I agree that she’s no Patrick Stewart, but I say 90% of the blame goes to the writers for not sufficiently developing her character.
- I like Cornwell.
- Saru lets Tyler-who-may-still-be-Voq walk around freely, and later Emperor Georgiou is given command of the ship. I’m sure these are supposed to seem like demonstrations of Starfleet’s attitude of trust and forgiveness, but to me it just seems foolhardy. Given all the “twists” we’ve had on this series so far, I’m expecting a betrayal from both of them.
- Tyler blames Burnham for feeling guilty about falling in love with a Klingon. WHAT PLANET IS HE ON?
- And finally, we return to an oft-used Trek cliché: Fire Something at a Planet Which Will Take Effect Instantly ™.
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Nic
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Wow, that was terrible. It was like a mash-up of DS9’s « The Emperor’s New Cloak », Voyager’s « Fury » and TOS’ « The Alternative Factor ».

I honestly can’t believe that Jason Isaacs (and to a lesser degree Michelle Yeoh) accepted this role. What a waste of acting talent. I’ve seen Saturday-Morning cartoons with smarter writing and more interesting characters.

I won’t go through each moment on the Charon where I was unable to suspend my disbelief (there were too many of them). The scenes on the Discovery fared slightly better, but I thought Saru’s speech was a pile of cliches.

And why is it that I can’t get into the tech dialogue on this show? TNG had a lot of technobabble, but for some reason I bought it then, and I don’t now. Have I changed, or is it the show that’s not selling it as well?

So, yes, overall I'm not enjoying this show. It's not entertainingly bad like "Sub Rosa" or The Room. It's frustratingly bad, because I keep seeing all this dramatic potential be squandered week after week. But I haven't stopped watching (yet), perhaps because of some faint hope that it will get better like TNG did. Who knows?
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Cynic
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

It occurs to me that the setup for the next installment in some ways mirrors (no pun intended), Star Trek Into Darkness. Starfleet is too goody-goody to fight the ruthless Klingons effectively, so they must rely on someone from outside their timeline to show them the way. In STID, that's time-crossing (and timeline-branched) KHAAAAN!, inexplicably repurposed (and resurfaced) as a weapons contractor by the morally bankrupt admiral. In DSC that's dimension-crossing Georgiou, who apparently will offer her mad tactics (and recipes?) for dealing with Klingons to a potentially corruptible Admiral Cornwell. It could be that Cornwell, who undoubtedly has an axe to grind with the Klingons and brought Sarek with her so he can use logic to justify almost anything, will go along with one of Georgiou's ideas, and it will turn into a major fiasco and war crime, cueing the sort of "This isn't who we are" bromide that ended STID.

As to the Green Spore, there are a lot of possibilities (most mentioned above) that seem very human-centric (Lorca, MU Lorca, MU Stamets, Culber, or the "life essence" of any of these). But it appears to me that the "network" is at least a semi-sentient organism that likely has had enough of humanoid interference. So how about this: Green Spore as its representative eventually takes over Tilly to communicate that sentiment to the DSC crew (Locutus of Spore?). Failing that, Green Spore Tilly sabotages Discovery's drive in such a way that PU's connection to the network is severed forever, resolving (more or less) the apparent continuity glitch with future/past series that the "spore drive" has always represented.
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Nic
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

The Lorca reveal may be the best-executed “twist” the series has pulled so far (but still nowhere near Dukat’s betrayal in “By Inferno’s Light”). It’s been obvious from the beginning that he was up to something, but until now I had no idea what it could be. Using light sensitivity as a “clue” is kind of a cheat, because it’s never been mentioned in any previous MU episode.

As others have mentioned, this will probably make him a less interesting character. What I objected to earlier in the season wasn't Lorca's actions, but the way Starfleet constantly let him off the hook.

The actors have certainly risen above the material. Georgiou is written as a cartoonish villain, but Yeoh's performance gives her a little more depth. Imagine what these actors could do with good material!


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Nic
Thu, Jan 25, 2018, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

Not much to say about this one. No major missteps, but no truly riveting scenes either. If the characters had been sufficiently developed beforehand, this one would be a winner.

Of course Voq is the leader of the rebels and Sarek is his psychic and Georgiou is the Emperor. Who else could it be in a Universe populated by about 30 characters?

Although I like Tilly, I agree that having her be the one treat Stamets is, well, just as silly as pretty much everything else on this show. Can we get some recurring characters please? It’s telling that the MU Keyla Detmer (I had to look up the name) had more lines in this episode than the “prime” one did in all previous episodes combined.
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Nic
Thu, Jan 18, 2018, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

The two funniest and truest lines of your review:
'"Despite Yourself," on the other hand, shows signs of this series becoming a series of prologues followed (or interrupted) by more prologues.'
and
'Is this a Federation starship or a secluded murder-mystery mansion on the upstate coast?'

This one slightly exceeded my expectations. But since I knew in advance the Discovery would end up in the MU, my expectations were very low. I've always felt that the MU was a gimmick that worked for its first episode (or two), but as a sci-fi concept falls apart when you think about it too much. Starting with "Through the Looking-Glass" it has been used mainly for good vs. evil caroonish mayhem, which I've never cared for, and "Despite Yourself" was no exception.

Still, there were some surprisingly good character moments here (humorous and otherwise), and some of the best scenes of the episode involve the crew preparing to act like their counterparts (especially Tilly).

Although I am in favour of killing regular characters once in a while (Anyone Can Die and all that), I am sad that Culber is dead, because after all the hype we got about finally showing a long-term homosexual relationship on Star Trek, we've only gotten 2 or 3 scenes of them actually together, and he could have been an interesting character in his own right.

The Tyler/Voq/L'Rell stuff isn't working for me at all. I see that they're trying to create a realistic portrayal of the psychological effects of what he's been through, but something about it feels... off.
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Nick
Fri, Jan 5, 2018, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Parallels

@Vii
In regards to him not having a birthday party at the end I would guess that it is suppose to imply that his first shift actually took place when he first encountered the rift. Geordie just triggered subsequent shifts.
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Nick
Sun, Dec 24, 2017, 4:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

" Preventing oneself from being in the position of having conflicts of interest and abuse of power is the most important part of ethics. "

Well, no. The most important parts of ethics are 1) axiology - the study of values which ought to be the ultimate reason for all our actions and 2) normative ethics, which develop specific principles according to which we can evaluate our actions, that is, to determine if an action contributes to the maximization of intrinsic value or is detrimental to it. Only from here we can proceed to applied ethics, that is, the application of normative ethics to specific cases like abortion, gun rights, or interference with pre-Warp cultures. The Prime Directive belongs to the realm of applied ethics, but I struggle to see what kind of normative ethical theory is supposed to be behind it, and what value it is supposed to maximize.

In this discussion there does seem to be a weird Kantian implication involved from time to time. Kant's Categorical Imperative is "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." Kant then famously proceeded to argue that if an axe-wielding murderer asks you if you have seen his fleeing victim, you are not allowed to lie, because lying as a universal principle would be bad. Seems like the Federation has adopted a similar approach.

I, on the contrary, think that such a situation requires one to use one's intelligence, attempt to predict the possible outcome to the best extent of one's abilities, and then act in one way or another. A general PD-like rule is useful to fall back on in unclear situations, but making exceptions where a situation clearly calls for it is also a moral responsibility.

Also, if Humanity in Star Trek are so afraid of unintended consequences of their actions, of being morally compromised by making a wrong decision, and or taking risks and taking responsibility in general, then maybe instead of interstellar exploration they should take up gardening.
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Nick
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

This is an irrelevant technicality. If they are physically unable to help someone for one reason or another, then it's not a question of ethics at all. We are talking about the situations where they are fully capable of helping, but don't. There are episodes dealing with such a situation. "Dear Doctor (Mengele)" immediately comes to mind, even though it's pre-PD, but the principle is the same.
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