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NoPoet
Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 5:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

This is indeed a formidable hour of Trek. I haven't been super impressed by DS9 on this rewatch, miles too many repetitive and boring episodes covering the same ground (Quark's bar and Dax's past lives being two of my main annoyances). I have mentioned in other comments that my best friend has been watching all the Treks through as they are being broadcast on Sky. He liked Voyager (for the most part) and TNG, found Enterprise boring and pointless, and he similarly found DS9 very slow and boring, only picking up the pace in its fifth season, while the first four seasons were littered with wretched, inconsequential episodes.

However, whenever the show heavily features any combination of Carsassians, Klingons, Romulans or the Dominion, then virtually every time it makes me and him sit up and take notice. (Repetitive Dax/Klingon death quests aside.) DS9 has a grandeur of scale and importance that none of the other Trek shows could match. Its character work is second to none. Ironic that this show, hated by some for being opposed to Roddenberry's ideals, produces by far the best episodes once it finally creaks into the fifth season.

In Purgatory's Shadow is DS9 completely in its stride. I feel that it succeeds on every level. Even the title is awesome, beaten only by "By Inferno's Light", surely the greatest episode title ever. This two parter is an event episode, representing something hugely important in the Trek universe, and I still remember how I felt when watching them for the first time because it's how I still feel watching it now. Excited, thrilled, amazed that a Trek show can have characters this well acted and well written, that can finally hold a candle to Stargate SG1 and Atlantis.
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Sleeper Agent
Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Silenus: Right on!

My thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of 90's b-action movies, especially if it takes place in a sci-fi setting. Some of them I actually consider to be personal film favorites of all time (Project Shadowchaser, Trancers, Dark Side of the Moon to name a couple).

Naturally, there also exist a bunch of them which quite frankly stink, and when I watch "Macrocosm" I see the exact same elements which cause those movies to suck: repetitive environments, boring enemies, lame action scenes ... all this in a cliché deluxe package, including techno-babble and Neelix.

I'm tempted to bust out the zero, but alas, how could I give anything, which features Janeway in a tank top blasting alien scum, anything less than 1 star?
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Paul C
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Business as Usual

No one seems to have spotted it (or mentioned it anyway) so here we go... nice Easter egg at the start. Quark is selling a weapon in the holo suite and it’s serial number is CRM 114. A reference to Dr Strangelove. And of course, nuclear weapons. Also referenced in Back to the Future (Marty hooking up his guitar to that huge amp).
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Sleeper Agent
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

This does what many VOY episodes have done so far: it forces you to watch a painfully mediocre story, with scenes bordering on snoozefest, for the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the episode.

Then it surprises you with a top notch if not brilliant last 10-15 minutes, often thanks to a clever twist and/or intriguing element in combination with Janeway kickin' ass.

Still, there are many episodes better than this one, which I would probably skip if I would ever do a rewatch (God forbid!).

1,5 Stars.
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Springy
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

I watched "For the Love of Spock" on Netflix last night. I couldn't find a thread for it, so am posting here to say I recommend it to any ST fan. It's done by Leonard's son, Adam, so it's not some hard, thorough, objective look; it's not meant to be. But neither is it all sweetness and light. It's a loving, honest tribute by a son to a father.

My favorite part was the letter Leonard wrote Adam, and George T telling about how Leonard insisted he and Nichelle ne included in the animated series. Leonard was nowhere near perfect, but it was plain he did his best and worked very, very hard.

An interesting man, an interesting life, an interesting documentary.

@Chrome, thanks for your thoughts and info on TNG.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

@ Cinnamon,

Troi and Riker broke up because he had career ambitions, not because they didn't like each other. They still like each other, and there's probably a lot more respect than there was the first time around. Not sure why this strikes you as weird. Fate saw fit to put them on the same ship as each other, and after that they had to pretty much keep each other at bay for professional reasons (like Picard and Crusher). But it doesn't mean there wasn't still something there.

Incidentally, have you ever dated someone from a telepathic species? The term "Imzadi" has some connotations that probably refer to having shared someone's inmost thoughts and feelings. "We're different people now" wouldn't mean to a Betazoid what it means to you, and their relationship had at least some of that in it.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 12:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

@ Adam,

An interesting idea, but since Waters was named Acting Captain by an actual Captain, that commission would be an official one and therefore Waters was an actual Captain in rank until such a time as a senior officer relieved him of that rank. Now, if all the officers had died, and Waters had assumed command simply by virtue of being the senior cadet, then any officer would indeed outrank him. But unless I'm mistaken I think his rank was made official.
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spinalatte
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

I enjoyed this one, I usually roll my eyes at holodeck error episodes but this was fun to follow along.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming,

I appreciate the effort to find data, but the problem with questionnaires like that is they are deeply flawed. I don't think there's very much to go on based on those, although than that perhaps people don't like to think that they've made decisions for material reasons. Whether in fact they really did or didn't is not data that can be drawn from such studies. Incidentally I wasn't even making an argument about whether material considerations are the final basis of any decision. All I said above was that it seems to be relevant to people upfront (i.e., before love has any chance to develop).
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming,

"Did you meant to say falling for a guy for reasons other than his personality?"

I meant to stay that we shouldn't impugn a woman for falling for a guy for superficial reasons, or call it sexist to suggest she would. That being said, yeah, there's more than just superficial quality to Apollo here. I did mean to say portfolio, because if you ask modern women what type of man they're looking for, or peruse dating profiles, few today would admit to just 'looking fora hot guy', whereas it's quite common to say he should have a good job. Asking what a prospective date does for a living is a very standard initial inquiry, which I've sort of condensed into "portfolio".

@ Chrome,

I do sort of agree that the rapidity and manner shown is a bit goofy, but I think it's to suddenly get out in the open without wasting time what's on the table for Apollo vs Scotty. But I laughed out loud at the Bluto line. I do agree that it's sad to think that Scotty would lose out because the other is cut like a god, but on the other hand I think we *are* supposed to feel bad for Scotty. It is a simple fact that no matter how dignified, educated, or caring you are you might lose out to someone for very superficial reasons. In the performance arts this is even more true, where losing a part may very often have happened for very plastic considerations. That said, I think we're supposed to feel bad for Apollo as well, because the fact of the matter is that in the future there seems less room for simply looking good to count for much, and so Apollo, for all his immediate charm, can't win out in the end in wooing Palamas. He's the guy she goes out with first but not the guy she takes home to meet her family. So in this way I think we're supposed to feel bad for both men, when in different ways each can't compete with the other. And she is necessarily drawn to both, but for very different reasons.

I think this particular issue was actually quite prescient on the part of the show, because it's far more common now than it was in the early 60's to be able to recognize that the hunk has his way with the women initially but that they grow tired of it and move on to someone stable with a good career when they get a bit older. Especially so with the growing trend of marrying and starting families much later in life, which leaves one's 20's for 'dating' and often involves a certain type of standard for dating that is quite different from the one used for settling down. Scotty is the settling down kind of guy, who likely has to eat mud while the Apollos out there can win a girl without even doing anything, but eventually finds someone who's done with all that and wants a family. Apollo, on the other hand, has his due time to be admired for his particular gifts, but finally realizes that this adulation came with a deadline and now he's not what's in demand. The old vs new concept in this episode does still work on a society-level, where "we don't need gods like you anymore", but frankly the way it actually plays out it feels more like old vs new in terms of maturing within one's own lifetime and realizing there are better things than chasing what's only beautiful on the outside.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Chrome,

I'll even go to bat against this, although perhaps the odds are against me:

"To be sure, there are far more sexist scenes in this episode including Palamas falling in love with flexing pecs and a smile in seconds."

I think there's a lot of misconception about what "women" want, put forward by very vocal bloggers and interest groups, whereas down here on Earth it seems entirely natural to be swept up immediately in a certain circumstance. In order to call that sexist one would have to say to those women point-blank they they are *wrong* to do so, which in turn makes it an anti-feminist argument. I've known plently of liberal-leaning women with strong values about women's rights or sexism, and yet will have no compunction to admit that if a certain dreamboat [insert popular Hollywood star here] they would go ga-ga. And I think these remarks are not incompatiable with each other, and yet is seems to be the case that when a woman is portrayed as falling for a man for reasons other than his portfolio or his doctorate, it's 'sexist TV'. I don't really buy that, as I think it's entirely reasonable to show a woman, especially one who we've been told already may value 'being a woman' more than 'being an officer', as losing it over a literal god.

I may be fighting upfill on this one, but I'm doing my best to show that it's not the same thing to show a realistic depiction of a woman who loves men falling for a man superficially, compared to arguing that it shows that women are sex objects or only exist to couple up, or anything like that. And I don't even think it's fair to call it weakness on her part to fall for Adonis; it's literally the point of feminism to show that women should be able to make their own choices, whether those are work-oriented, family, or of the more amusing variety.
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Paul C
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Sorry I forgot -

Sisko kicking Worf’s arse. ‘You have your orders, dismissed!’
That was good. Don’t see that in ST much.
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Paul C
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Not clear to me why they bothered with the disembodied voice part for the messages. Didn’t do anything for the story.

Pretty grim transporter death... and no one even tried to stop Kira looking at her. Of course she’d have said no, but surely someone would say, ‘are you sure you want to see her..?’
Just before the accident we had some banter that was very out of place. Worf and Dax were treating this as a routine transport, but they were intercepting someone who could possibly be murdered. Very blasé.

Pregnant woman gets into multiple fights and risks her baby to seek revenge. That’s just plain stupid behaviour.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming & Jason R.,

Since Jason fielded the last one I'll take on the role of clairvoyant on this one and try to field for him:

"To me this sounds like women, because they already leave for a while because of the pregnancy, should continue to stay at home instead of the father."

The reason this isn't an accurate reading of Jason R's comment is because you've addeed some features he didn't include. One of these is your broadening the statement to include "women", as in, *all* women. Jason's phrasing was a hypothetical in the case of a singular woman. The more important change is in your use of the word "should". Jason R appeared to be describing what actually does happen, but you are trying to turn this into what women "should" do, which is not what he said. It might well be what they'd want to do, so if by "should" you meant that it would be advantageous for them, then that would be closer to what it appears he way saying. But out of context "should" looks a lot more like "this should be the mandated system", and so doesn't match what Jason said.

Incidentally, I think attempting clairvoyance (to continue to poke a bit of fun at your term) is a good exercise, since taking up the burden of restating someone else's claims in your words is a good way to see if you've understood them or not.

"I'm not sure how to respond to this order of yours. It is such a general statement that one would have to be an utter fool to deny that there are practical reasons why women do these things. "

The trouble here is that you made a generalized statement that femininity, along with certain practices of women going off work for family, "are" social constructs. My only point, at any rate, was to point to the fact that they are not *entirely* social constructs. To whatever extent there is some social agreement and some necessary advantage in taking a particular strategy it requires being picky about details to avoid making sweeping statements that make it hard to discuss. We're getting a bit bogged down now, but what I want is for people here to be able to discuss concepts like "Uhura retains her femininity" without it being deconstructed into whether that word has any real meaning. I think people pretty much know what I mean when I use the term, and if they don't they can ask.

"I asked Peter and if you are not clairvoyant then I would prefer to hear his answer or can he not answer a simple question?"

Jason has proved himself clairvoyant on this point. I was describing an "is" and you turned it into a "should", which I didn't say. And I especially didn't even bring up the topic of firing anyone. We were talking about what might govern choices a woman would make.

"I'm not familiar with the numbers in the States but considering how dreadful things are there these days it certainly wouldn't surprise me."

Yes, therea are many features of both health care and labor laws in the U.S. that leave much to be desired. There's definitely a case to be made that Europe is ahead on certain fronts. I also agree that there is more room to be had in encouraging stay at home dads, or at least increased paternal involvement. But these goals shouldn't be confused with statements suggesting that there's a natural advantage in having the mother conduct certain duties. And so in this episode I don't think we need to call sexism automatically because it's suggested that the female may leave to have a family. Although I will also submit that it's certainly possble that it is sexism and the writer just wasn't able to imagine the future all that well.
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Sleeper Agent
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: False Profits

The 0,5 star is for:

"Expand or die." (Rule 95)

"When the messenger comes to appropriate your profits, kill the messenger." (Rule 257)

Plus the unofficial stuff which, if nothing else, were wholly entertaining.
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Sleeper Agent
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Warlord

Standing in the shadow of Lien's splendor, it's easy to forget the rest. But let us also remember that Mulgrew is on point with her Bad-ass Janeway in this one. The story reminded me of an Elizabethan revenge tragedy.

3 Stars.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming,

"Maybe this happens again and again because of my limited English skills but the social construct I mean is society expecting women to quit their jobs for ever not taking parental leave for a while which is a guaranteed normality in Europe. In many European countries men take parental leave, too. "

You tend to make generalizations about what the 'social construct is' but as Jason R. mentioned, you are sometimes takling about things that are arbitrary and sometimes things that are physical realities. If a woman is breastfeeding it won't be convenient for the man to stay at home for the first year (or even more). You may say that she can then go back to work, which is fine, but what if the couple wants a second or third child? You think a company, even in Europe, is going to be able to sustain an employee who is gone for a year, comes back for 6-12 months, and leaves for another year? This is just not common sense. There are many different scenarios that a family can have, and some of them can involve both parents working after having kids, and some may involve one or both taking leave or even living at home. But it is not a social construct that there are physical realities making it more convenient for it to be the woman who does so.

"I'm not debating that breastfeeding exists even though I find your view that fathers should barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month odd. "

Jason R. never said this. It would advise a bit of caution, because a few times in this conversation you've attributed statements to people that they didn't make.
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Paul
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

On and not one.
Too and not to.

Never seen an error before in your writings Jammer and here we have 2! A rarity!

I like Rom’s character in this, he’s pulling himself up from the bootstraps despite being shot down by Quark and others at every opportunity. He received no encouragement or welcome from the staffers on the day shift (familiar feeling for me) despite his excitement at being there.

Some funny moments ‘I don’t waste time talking to people like everyone else seems to’ and self awareness ‘Not that anyone wants to talk to me.’

I was rooting for him. And got his deserved promotion.
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spinalatte
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

This was more fantasy and less about Sci Fi. Some interesting things here, and I enjoyed it more when I decided to not take it seriously.
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spinalatte
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

I did not think this was too bad. Tuvok was heavy handed in the beginning, with a little tone deafness, but he was believable in the acting. The Maquis were a little too negative and teenage-like, but you have to think there was some tension early on in the merging of the crews.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming,

"During the 60s women more or less never placed their careers first, first and foremost because they couldn't get well payed jobs."

TOS is not set in the 60's. It is inescapable, true, that some stuff from the 60's was going to seep into any product made in that time, but TOS was decidedly *not* portraying a society where women were expected to just stay at home, and I see no reason to presuppose such a premise for this episode (notwithstanding that they're all written by different people).

"Second, social identity is constructed by society"

That's a theory, not a fact. But putting aside the various arguments that could be made on this topic, my point is that social identity doesn't merely have to do with artificial convention. Being on a good basketball team is a social activity, but what makes a person good at that isn't a social construct but rather a physical reality. Other social scenarios may have some combination of social and baked-in elements. In the case of a woman wanting to have a family, there's not much to say about it being a social construct that women are the ones who have the babies.

"I highly doubt that you will find a show from that era that isn't somewhat sexist."

Most likely you're correct.

"That is one of the more important contributors to the gender pay gap. An employer assumes that a woman could have children and therefor does not promote her which then leads to lower salaries and so on. If a woman actually wants children is immaterial. "

I have seen considerable arguments claiming to have debunked this, but I also have no doubt that there as a**holes all around that do things most people would wince at. But I've never heard a cogent argument to the effect that the gender pay gap is sexist strictly on the basis of employers fearing to lose the women to family and therefore holding them back. Or at least this isn't the common explanation given for the supposed pay gap. In any case even if your statement was true it would seem to have little bearing on this ep, since Kirk never says he's going to avoid promoting her due to being "all woman".

"To end this with a kind of funny comparison because you mention Uhura being portrayed as feminine. That is all a construct, too. Femininity."

You're missing my point on this one. My point is that the women on TOS aren't portrayed as successful *because they behave like men*, which is often what happens in shows featuring successful women. Here they're shown to be able to retain their femininity (whatever that is in a given society) and yet confuct professional jobs.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Booming,

You'll get no argument from me that Palamis is a poorly written character. They give us little to no background on what she's like, nor does her veering through the story serve much of a purpose for her own characterization other than to show a power struggle between the old and the new; Apollo and Kirk. That she's occupying the role of 'worshipper' in a loose sense is unfortunate, but I'm not sure it's sexist. I think it's just lazy writing.

Regarding the "she's all woman" line, it did make me cringe. However, I try to give it the benefit of doubt in context rather than to ascribe to it all sorts of characteristics that a feminist approach might do. I *think* what they were trying to get across is that some people place career first, and others place their social identity first, and in her case "woman" trumped "officer". You point out that these need not necessarily be at odds, and I'm sure that sometimes that's true. But at other times it really is true that a person's social needs will trump their career needs, whether those social needs be in form of male/female relations, friends, social circle, etc.

As an employer, btw, it's a very real-world thing to note that someone may seem like they're going to get married and/or be having babies sooner or later and that they probably won't stick around for that long. In a modern outlook we don't want to frown on such things or penalize them, but likewise it's foolish not to be aware of such things. We may note that Bones and Kirk were having this exchange in confidence, and it in no way constituted an 'official position' of the Captain and Doctor. And as you mention, Kirk did regret the thought of losing an officer, which should imply that it wasn't actually his desire for her to go home and be a housewife. Rather he seemed to be implying that this was what it appeared she would eventually want. I don't think it's fair to say that this statement was about women as a whole in that era, because there are plenty of career women shown in TOS about which this is never said, especially Uhuru who is certainly portrayed as feminine.

I'll also note that the idea that career and family can be balanced is a modern notion and actually one not held by TOS in general. Both Kirk and McCoy at various times have made it pretty clear that they had to make a strict choice between being an officer and having a family. This isn't a sexism thing, but rather a general premise about being in Starfleet that's so important that it actually became a central plot point in ST: II WoK. Only in TNG do they make a special point of mentioning that families can be on ships and that career and family are now compatible in Starfleet.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 9:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ saffron,

You've got me thinking, and I needed to rewatch again to figure out what the context was of that remark. Earlier they had said that she was "all woman" and would leave the service sooner or later to marry. On the one hand we could call that a sexist piece of writing, but on the other it may have been a realistic appraisal of someone who was in for a brief stint but didn't seem interested in being a career officer. Either way we don't get an explanation for it at the time. But once the landing party beams down we have her ask, sort of unenthusiastically why she's there, and Bones reminds her of her qualifications. Could it be that the actress was meant to be portraying fear or something, and she just wasn't doing it? After all, a literal god was sitting in eyesight of their landing position maybe 100 feet away. But the acting doesn't really portray that, anyhow. Or could it be that she fancied herself a scholar of some kind and didn't have any desire to be on away missions, dangerous or otherwise, which would then require Bones to remind her that she's a Starfleet officer and that the Enterprise isn't her personal travelling office?

Whatever the intention was her flat delivery of the line makes it very hard to figure out exactly what the script-writer intended with it. Maybe it was just as simple as "I'm not a star of this show, so why am I here?" and McCoy's answer is a fig leaf for "because the plot has requirements of you that will only be apparent later." Sadly, this last possibility now strikes me as being the most likely one. But I really don't see sexism in that particular exchange; it had no air of him needing to explain her own career to her.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

@ Dave in MN,

""I actually had a similar reaction as you did on my first viewing.

It was only when I watched it many years later did the ethical and moral problems (with the script) bothered me."

This is a good point, and one I should made made clearer on my own behalf. Back when the episode first aired, when I was still in elementary school, I was on Geordi's side 100% with no questions asked. Why was she so mean to him, what the heck! This position would be somewhat modified over time even until my 20's, when I saw both sides more or less equally. It was only into my 30's that I began to see Leah's side much more strongly to the point where now I'm largely on her side while finding Geordi's antics to be problematic.

There are many eps where my opinion of them now is more or less as it was when they first aired, for instance Cause and Effect, where my "wow, cool!" reaction is sustained to this day. But certain eps like this one and Hollow Pursuits strike me very differently than they did when I was younger.
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Springy
Tue, Jun 11, 2019, 9:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

@Sooty

I saw this nearly a year ago, and I say this without a rewatch, so grain of salt, but I believe Tom leaving his chamber was one of Seven's hallucinations.
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