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Percivale
Tue, Nov 22, 2011, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Lonely Among Us

re: Lonely Among Us

Wow, what a shambles of an episode. I could go on forever. Nothing makes sense; nobody belongs anywhere or should be doing anything they're doing. Just a bunch of stuff thrown together.

Worf saying he doesn't remember having a memory block symbolizes the episode for me.

A big plot hole is why the alien blathers on about its cries for help not being understood by the crew, when it does everything secretly and makes no real effort to just freakin' tell the crew "Hey, I'm an energy being. Get me home." - when it obviously could. Why even bother merging with Picard, if you're only eager to go home? Ugh, too many questions like this.

I guess what angers me the most is something that got better with time but that TNG never really figured out: no one in Star Fleet or the Federation knows how to make responsible, professional decisions about anything. In later episodes, I think maybe the writers just didn't completely understand how to write professional-acting officers, but here it seems like they just don't care. A self-respecting, standards-holding Federation wouldn't consider these aliens for admission in a million years. Also, it seems there really is no protocol for relieving a Captain of duty on medical grounds - he can just shout you down and ignore procedure whenever he wants to. Way to ensure the safety of the crew.

The silver lining is the acting; Patrick and Stewart and Brent Spiner do a good job here - even if Data is acting in a way that I don't think Data should ever have acted (the writers hadn't decided on how to write his character yet).

1/2 Star
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Percivale
Sun, Oct 23, 2011, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

I almost disagree with Jammer's star rating here - the refreshingly interesting dialogue and tense plotting of this episode make it deserve four stars. But, unfortunately, the Ferengi bring it down a whole star.

There was really no purpose for them. There was no reason for Kamala to be in the cocoon - they could have made a mysterious request to have her transported to quarters from the beginning. Captain demands that the identity and purpose of all passengers be known to him, there's a conflict with the ambassador, who then informs the Captain who is coming aboard, and there you go.

The beginning actually made me angry - it was another episode where you really can tell the show was written by people who have never worked in positions of authority. You simply require that all cargo be disclosed and lock the doors they go into. No questions need to be asked. You're not being "mean" by doing so.

And the ambassador could have tripped in the holodeck or something.

But back to the substance of the episode. Yeah, great. We see Captain Picard in a situation that truly challenges him, and the tension, the resolution and subsequent tragedy of it packs a real emotional punch.

Also, this is perhaps the closest any tv episode has been to actually convincing me that two people fall in love in a 43 minute tv episode. Kudos.

I forgive them for not going into the ethics of the situation deeper than they could. I was hoping for the second conversation with Dr. Crusher to go a little deeper, but it was helpful in its way - perhaps giving a hint that relationships built on shared experience go deeper than ones based on telepathy.

An interesting way to go into the ethics would have been to do something I find they do not do enough in Star Trek: portray aliens has having different natures than "human" nature (I always cringe when Guinan advocates "human" nature - shouldn't it be "humanoid" or something like that?). Maybe it's not unethical, because she actually does fulfill her role by doing what she does in a way that humans can't entirely relate to. But then again, they can barely be bothered to make the aliens look different from humans, so I guess it goes the same way for the insides. They had to have her learn how to think differently. Which means her actions are culturally enforced and unethical. Which, granted, ends the episode on a relatively profound note, as this casts a small shadow on the practices of the federation. I don't think they made the wrong decision - it's just that the episode skillfully leads you to doubt it enough for there to be something at stake.

After writing all that, I almost want to give it 4 stars. Damnit, Ferengi!
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Percivale
Sun, Oct 23, 2011, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

I agree with the general consensus here that this episode is exceptionally weak. I also liked the comments about Lwaxana's expression of loneliness - I felt that, if you took them in a bubble, it was a great moment of dialogue, truly heartfelt. But the context in which the lines were spoken was a complete waste. The episode was over for me the moment we met her entirely implausible groom-to-be.
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Percivale
Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

Putting the social message aside for a moment, I want to point out how sub-par both the writing and cinematography were in this episode.

It is boring both to watch and to listen to. Beyond the guest actress's monotone, the conversations were unusually long; the technobabble was particularly uninspired; the scenes were static and slow; and, during one scene (the one where Riker talks with Troi in her quarters), there was even this strange slow zoom that I don't recall seeing in any other TNG episode. It felt like a soap opera in its production values. This could have been much more passionate, but it ended up being very insipid.

I agree with Jammer's "Good intentions. Not much else."
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