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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@ Rahul,

If I were writing a sci-fi story I'd probably have to create some kind of timeline of how long it takes races to evolve into 'godhood' or whatever. Trek doesn't have a defined view on this and each writer does his/her own take on it. I don't think looking around for specific examples will tell us much about making a general rule here.

Even if it were established somehow that a million or so years is enough to become an energy being, there's (IMO) a very definite thread going through DS9 that the Founders are *extremely* stagnant, both in their worldview and in their way of life. All they want is to go into the Link and stay there. It's an aggravation for them to even have to interact with the rest of the galaxy. It's pretty much the definition of xenophobic shut-ins. Even if some other race could have developed more quickly in less time, my argument would be that the Changelings are ironically the most stuck race of them all, basically doing nothing for thousands of years at a time and sitting in their little orgy or whatever it is.

I think I once mentioned it on another thread but there's a good book called Calculating God by Sawyer, and (SPOILERS) the major premise in the book is that races tend to vanish randomly at a certain stage of development. We find out later in the book it's because as soon as a race has the technology to plug themselves into The Matrix, basically, and experience nothing but pleasure all the time they will do so. One method of doing this is to upload themselves into a computer system that will perpetuate their lives forever in paradise. To me that's basically what the Great Link is: the eternal pleasure button where you disappear and cease doing anything. It's Youtube surfing on ultra-steroids. Based on this premise (which I do think is intimated in the scripts, especially in S6) I would suggest that they have been completely stunted for an extremely long time, and that it takes losing a war and almost being wiped out by a virus to wake up and look around.
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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@ Craig,

You're not wrong. There are some other times in the series where I get the distinct idea that the Enterprise crew is somewhat elistist and doesn't really like talking with people or aliens who are 'less civilized' than them.
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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@ Rahul,

I'm not confusing them, I outright said that in my head canon they're the same race (in other thread). However putting that aside the Changelings used to be solids and it's clear that in order to evolve from mammalian animals to metamorhps it would take millions of years. Of course evolution gets wonly once a race is sentient and we get into the whole technological singularity thing. So maybe in the Founders' equivalent of the 29th century or something they genetetically engineered themselves to be like that. I guess it's possible. But the story we're told in this series is that they naturally evolved to be like this, so that's a OLD process.

SPOILERS

We also see (and are told) that while in the link time doesn't pass normally for them like it does for solids, and they hate being out of the link because it means they have to monitor mundane day-to-day details. I can only guess about the technical details of this, but I would imagine that they might go hundres, or thousands of years at a time between noticing what's going on around them, aside from the few of them that have to remain out of the link for extended periods to TCB.

As for the narrative of why Odo's portrayed this way, it's because he's the Data-character: his role is to learn about humanity from the outside, the hard way, and it's a slow learning curve. The lack of mimicking well is a metaphorical way of us seeing that he really doesn't understand us yet. We might then ask how the Founders can do it, since clearly they don't either, but in their case we also know they are deceitful to the extreme, whereas Odo doesn't seem to be at all. So maybe the faces they put on are detailed but 'fake' in a way? Whereas Odo would only be able to do it if he really believes in what he's doing since he's too honest to lie. Just a thought.
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Sleeper Agent
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 10:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

"But when did the Doctor have sex?"

Well he did have a romantic relationship in an earlier season. Plus, he has access to the holodeck just like every body else. But I would imagine that he mostly tried it out to see what it was like, in general he seems very asexual.

Regarding the episode: it was entertaining and had a fair share of interesting ingredients, but in the end left me somewhat underwhelmed. Kudos to Andy Dick though, I was afraid it was going to get cringe-y, but he pulled it off satisfactory. I look forward to more Hirogen action; from the little we saw they look like a very promising villain.

2 Stars.
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Patrick
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water

Good episode but...

...I couldn’t really get THAT into it because I just don’t buy that Ghemor and Kira are as close as father and daughter; it’s pretty ridiculous tbh.

The whole sharing of Cardassian secrets thing was a stretch too; apparently these secrets can only be shared verbally, face-to-face while experiencing severe mortal pain. Ghemor is such a drama queen.
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Springy
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

A great episode. Stewart and Muldaur make the ep. Spiner is good too.

More stuff about life and death - the nature of life, natural evolution, unnatural evolution, Darwin.

"No life forms present," says the transporter engineer to O'Brien, as he looks over Data, who is materializing in the transporter, having been disinfected by it. No life forms present, he declares, starting right at Data.

My favorite lines: PICARD: Will she be normal again?" DATA: "As normal as ever, sir."

Excessive use of the word normal, throughout the script.

That is one miraculous transporter. The technobabble in this ep is woven Iike a tapestry. It is positively mesmerizing.

Pulaski is a great character. Wish we could have kept her longer.

Good one. Light on the plot, but very well done.
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Peter G.
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@ Rahul,

It's probably because Odo's like 50 years old or whatever, and only gained consciousness maybe 10 years back, while the Founders from the Link are, I dunno, millions of years old or something. If my head canon is right, more like billions of years old.
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Top Hat
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

They're just more practiced at impersonating solid in general, and presumably have reached the point where they need little specific preparations.
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Springy
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 6:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Schizoid Man

Kind of slow moving, but an interesting premise, very well done by Spiner.

More talk about what it means to be alive, as Graves refuses to go gently into his grave.

I wonder what the idea of the Vulcan doc was. Pulaski could easily have played that part. Were they considering replacing the doc yet again?

Average ep that rises above average due to Spiner.
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Springy
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Loud as a Whisper

So I finished this, but aside from the nice shock of the deaths of the trio, it was truly a snoozer. I think this week's continuing Season 2 exploration of "the nature of being alive and being human" was probably about identity - the need for relationships but the need to have our own independent identity. Lots of stuff about what makes you, you.

My favorite part was Data doing the "two people at the beach" in sign language.
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Patrick
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 7:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

TNG - pregnant Ogawa is the cure

VOY- pregnant Torres is the cure

DS9 - pregnant Ekoria is the cure

Who was the pregnant elixir on Enterprise?
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Patrick
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

Worf: “I raised Alexander”

Really Worf?
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Peter G.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

@ Jason R.,

If you're going to quit, at least check out S4's Terra Prime. I can't quite guarantee it's gold, but it would suck to miss out on Peter Weller.
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Peter G.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part II

Thanks, Stejda.
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Peter G.
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

@ alcoremor,

I guess you might say that Seven's character progression forward in the series was marked by...infinite regress.
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Patrick
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

I think the newer wiser Odo should have got in the Defiant with the original Odo and flown into the anomaly. They could keep doing this over and over again every 200 years, increasing the number of Odos exponentially until they have enough to create a Great Link that would rival the Dominion.
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Sleeper Agent
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

This one combines elements from two classic TNG episodes: "Schisms" and "Frame of Mind", and to that adds it's own spice in form of a Peak Performance Voyager crew. Needless to say it's a slam dunk.

There's not much to complain about really, the story is super solid and keeps on unfolding most elegantly 'til the very end. Mixing in comic relief and action perfectly in what otherwise is a dark and sinister plot. I for one don't think it's very important to have the aliens motive spelled out for the audience - in "Schisms" nobody cared, albeit it was a more mysterious tone to those aliens, but still.

David Bell's music does sound extremely alike his DS9 arrangements, but if it works, it works. I would also like to point out one of the main highlights of this episode, namely the absolutely BEAUTIFUL photography. There were so many gorgeous frames in "Waking Moments" that I lost count half-way in. Even if you don't like this episode it is certainly worth a re-watch just for the shots.

When I watch this I fall in love with Voyager. No way this gets less than 4 shining stars.
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Peter G.
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

@ Chrome,

I think you're on to something zeroing in on the angle of Wesley helping others in preference of winning. In fact I think that's almost the core of the entire episode. It's almost like they're trying to say that Wesley helping Mordock get in isn't fundamentally a loss for Wesley, but a win for everyone, including Wesley, so long as Wes doesn't look at Mordock as being a competitor. It's almost like it, but not quite, since this is really not the focus. Too bad, because that would have been a neat message.

In terms of being soft as a negative trait for a competitive academy, this brings to bear a tension in the series that persists into future seasons. How much is Starfleet an elite heirarchy trying to be the best, with the Enterprise especially being the ultra-elite, versus a representation of humanity pulling each other up and winning as a team rather than a group of individual over-achievers flying around cool ships? I don't think it's supposed to be just one or the other, but A Matter of Honor in S2 does a pretty explicity job - including direct references to Mordock and Wes' experiences here - of telling us that Starfleet *is not* about outshining everyone else on your own and rising to the top. Or at least, it's not supposed to be; maybe in practice it really is. People like Shelby (and young Riker) do make us wonder whether the "we're all a team" idea is more of an idea than a reality.

My issue here is: are we supposed to see Wes helping others as making him *more* Starfleet material, or *less* Starfleet material? We get zero on this front, which reflects my frustration earlier about the fact that we are totally left out of Starfleet's side of the admission process here. It really does seem to be a giant gag to have Wes fail just to see him finally fail at something.
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Peter G.
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

@ Chrome,

I guess that's the friendly way to look at it. For my part I have a tough time seeing any arc for Wesley that was actually intended and moved forwards. I *could* choose to look at this one as "Starfleet is challenging for him because it's not just about intellect", except we didn't see him failing at anything at all in this one. And we likewise don't get to see "Starfleet may not be for him", because he seems to thrive on the environment and sincerely admires the process and the instructors. The 'moral' at the end with Picard seems to be that even gifted people can fail, and they just need to try again. So on the surface the only point of having Wes fail seems to be to poke a hole in the "he's a Mary Sue who succeeds at everything" thing he had going. Basically he failed because of the Bugs Bunney phenomenon, where the write is making the character fail because the writer wants the character to fail (as Bugs does to Daffy), rather than because of any organic story reason why this makes sense.

I could see reasons why it *could* make sense, such as you suggest, or others that I suggested, but I'm sort of clear in my head now that these weren't intended here and that they were actually jerking us around with having Wes be absolutely perfect at everything and failing anyhow. But it's not even a Peak Performance lesson of 'it's possible to make no mistakes and lose', but rather us seeing Wes get whiplash just because he was due for a comeuppance from previous episodes. I'm not crazy about that, and it feels fake anyone because the script is sort of winking at Wes at the same time, basically acknowledging that he was the best candidate and that 'he'll get his due next time'.
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Peter G.
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

Just watched this one yet again. and one thing struck me that I hadn't thought about before. One issue with the script always seemed to be that the aliens acted like idiots. Why, after all, would Admiral Quinn not just act as normal as possible, get Beverly like he intended, and go back down to the planet quietly? And then after changing plans and choosing Riker instead, why taunt him, tell him about a superior life form, and then wait around for security to come, only in order to taunt Worf as well and give everyone every chance to catch him?

I guess one 'conspiracy theory' could be that Quinn retained some control over himself and wanted to let the Enterprise know what it needed to stop the aliens. But let's put that aside because no hint of that is given other than his irrational choices.

What did occur to me, however, is that we are repeatedly shown the aliens taking incredible chances, and enjoying it. One thing very palpable when Quinn is making stupid decisions is that he's grinning like an idiot through it as if he just can't wait to wipe the floor with some fools. He barely even seems to care about his mission, compared with gloating about how strong he is. And likewise on the planet, when the senior admirals needlessly taunt Picard with worms and toy with him, even though in theory his ship in orbit could beam him out any time. They seem to think that by having a single guy with a phasor in the room they can do whatever they want.

When Riker enters and tricks them, they tell him to "relish" his new body, and that's exactly what I get when watching these parasites do anything: they do everything with relish, almost like kids trying out a new toy. I'm starting to think this portrayal was no accident, because later Remmick's alien is referred to as the mother creature. Could these other parasites have been actual children, acting like children despite being highly intelligent?

Maybe the reason the invasion failed is because a single mother alien who got to Earth kind of by happenstance was trying to do it all alone, using her little kids to do most of the work, whereas if she had gotten other alien mothers to come join maybe they'd have been able to reign in the kids a little more.

I'm not quite sure this is what they were going for, but it's sure what it looks like. All of these parasites parade around their powers, taunting people for fun every chance they can get, and basically laughing while they're doing it. It sure does make them seem evil, which I guess was the intent. But maybe it makes more sense to think of them as immature rather than evil; it would certainly explain the many unexplainable blunders they make.
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Peter G.
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

I recently rewatched this one and was surprised at one thing from the ending: Wesley feels like he failed to get into the Academy, and I guess I had always thought so too.

SPOILERS

Much discussion sprang from the fact that an average Nog could get in but the mighty Wesley Crusher failed, meaning they had retconned the difficulty level; or perhaps the war lowered the bar. But in hindsight I'm not 100% sure the reasons in this episode are so clear. The admissions officer outright tells Wesley that he lost a bit of time helping Mordock, but that it was other reasons too that he didn't get in. And we're not given those. But I can think of a few that have nothing to do with getting in being impossible:

-Wesley was just about to turn 16! He might have been deemed too young just as that moment, no matter how smart he was.
-Since he had such a fortunate situation to serve on the Enterprise already, they may have thought it was in his interest to continue with that for as long as possible, since after graduating from the academy he might be stationed anywhere.
-Meta-reason obviously being the showrunners didn't want to write him off. In a sense, 'he's too important to be at the academy, rather than not good enough.'
-The Traveller had hinted that Wesley was destined for something better, so maybe they feared the academy wasn't for him and that he needed more time to figure it out?
-Mordock was the first Benzite ever admitted to starfleet, so it also seems more than likely that this poliical consideration would be of far more importance *for the Federation* than having one more genius in Starfleet.

I definitely didn't take away this time that Wesley wasn't good enough to get in or anything like that. However, one of the weaknesses of the episode is that we get too much from the boy wonder POV and almost nothing from Starfleet's side. If they have some specific reason we're not treated to even a hint of it. And worse than that, we're supposed to have this wonder about the great wisdom of the admittance process, like they have the key to every person's mind. But if so, I never saw them administer any test or ask Wesley any questions that even hinted at the fact that it might be best if he waits a year. He seemed to just pass everything, so we're left with this false notion that he 'deserved' to get in and that he just arbitrarily had it held from him. But that doesn't make sense, so the script is missing something.
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Peter G.
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 11:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

@ Chrome,

What this episode says to me is that *no one* can contain their emotions forever, not even the superior Vulcans. Even with them there comes a point of explosion where they run amok. The title sort of says it all, even though I never understood it as a kid: there is, and always will be, a time when amok becomes inevitable, and for a Vulcan every seven years is amok time (i.e. the time comes to run amok). The fact that they are hyper-logical means that they regulate and ritualize even their going out of control, so that they can sanitize and control it, so that the seven-year itch becomes a part of their culture rather than an objection to it. Whether that actually works or makes sense is up to the viewer, especially with what a conniving wife Spock was matched with.

That's another thing I liked about this one, that subsequent Treks seemed to want to scrub: "logical" doesn't have to mean nice; it means efficient. In this sense they may indeed have something in common with the Romulans. So we have on display both that Vulcans do go out of control, in carefully prescribed ways (which reminds me of Festival in Return of the Archons) and also that their logic also serves as a shield for good old duplicity.

The closest we come to an analogy to this veneer vs reality thing is in DS9 with Odo , who's the Spock-character for that show (each show has one). In that one we get a more vivid look at the difference between an outward virtue and the inward forces that drive it.

I guess I don't see the Vulcans as retconned later on so much as the focus being on how logical they are. They ended up being more of a caricature of themselves later on, for the most part being 'the logic guys' rather than 'the guys who put up a front of logic.' Episodes like Sarek and even Take Me Out to the Holosuite do bring back this notion of the interior thing being far different from the exterior.
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Springy
Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Loud as a Whisper

Watching and commenting

--Peacemaker. Why should it bother Worf that Riva negotiated Klingon-Federation treaties?

--Riva's bee line for Troi is very creepy. He's just generally creepy, though the presentation of those three communicators is nicely done.

--It's hard to buy the idea that Troi is returning the feelings, but I guess she is.

--Very boring. I literally fell asleep. Will have to try to finish this later.

Buona Notte, Trekolini.
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Stephen
Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 4:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Nog probably jinxed things. He did make a remark in "A Time to Stand" about putting a Jem'Hadar on the Defiant.
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Patrick
Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

Agree with Vladimir. Pah Wraith Keiko was hardly different than Fine I’ll Wear The Red Dress Keiko. You would think as a botanist, she would grow some choice plants that may put her in a better mood.
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